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Kissing Cousins

Kissing Cousins

Kissing Cousins

Can I Legally Marry my Cousin?


The Christmas season is just behind us and for a lot of people, Christmas means getting together with family and friends to partake in the food, drink, and presents that come with the season. It’s a feel-good time.

But maybe your family reunion over the holidays brought up some other, more confusing feelings. Maybe you reconnected with someone you’d not seen for a long time, an attractive person from your past with a dazzling smile. Someone who you share a heap of things in common with. A real catch.

And it’s early days yet, but maybe, just maybe, you’re interested in your cousin. Maybe you even want to marry your cousin.

“But,” I hear you asking, “is that even legal?” Ok, we’re kind of joking…

But – The answer is yes.

Although it is a bit of a taboo (at least at this point in history), it is legally possible in Australia to marry your cousin.

Sections 23 and 23B of the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) set out the grounds on which a marriage will be deemed to be void. One the grounds set out in both sections is when “the parties are within a prohibited relationship”.

The words “prohibited relationship” are defined in both sections as “marriages (a) between a person and an ancestor or descendant of the person; or (b) between a brother and a sister (whether of the whole blood or the half-blood).”

There are other factors that could render a marriage void, such as if one of the parties is already married or if either of the parties are too young to be married. But assuming neither of these other factors exist, then yes, it is perfectly legal to marry your cousin. So there you go.

If you have queries about marriage in Australia, or any other family law matter, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced and expert family lawyers on (07) 4795 1114. At the very least this article should spice up your next family reunion.