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Can I Marry My Cousin?


Recently, we were asked whether it was legal to reside with, and marry, your first cousin in New York State. The answer to that question was "yes you can."

According to the New York State Domestic Relations Law, incestuous and void marriages are defined as marriages between the following:

1. An ancestor and a descendant;
2. A brother and sister of either the whole or the half blood;
3. An uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew.

If a marriage is prohibited, as defined above, New York State will consider the marriage to have never taken place, i.e. void. The parties will also be fined not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars. Additionally, your indiscretion may also result in you being imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months. Any person who knowingly or willingly performs a marriage ceremony, or assists in the marriage ceremony can also be found guilty of a misdemeanor and will also be fined or imprisoned in the same manner as the parties.