Prohibited marriages in Georgia – Degrees of relationship

In Georgia, there are certain degrees of relationship within which marriage is prohibited. Specifically, marriage is prohibited between the following relationships: (1) Father and daughter or stepdaughter; (2) Mother and son or stepson; (3) Brother and sister of the whole blood or the half blood; (4) Grandparent or grandchild; (5) Aunt and nephew; and (6) Uncle and niece. OCGA §19-3-3(a). These marriages are forbidden whether the relation is by blood or marriage. Id. In addition to these marriages being "void from their inception," a person who knowingly enters a marriage prohibited by this law "shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years." OCGA §19-3-3(a) and (b). In addition, if there is another state that allows a marriage within the degrees prohibited in Georgia, such a marriage performed there will not be recognized in this state. The law clearly states that "[p]arties residing in this state may not evade any of the laws of this state as to marriage by going into another state for the solemnization of the marriage ceremony." OCGA §19-3-43. Thus, the parties will not be entitled to any of the benefits of marriage in Georgia, including the ability to obtain a divorce.

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