Can First Cousins Marry In Connecticut? (Explained)

It is currently legal for first cousins to marry in Connecticut.

The state laws prevent closer relationships such as brothers and sisters.

The application form to get a marriage license is filled out in the presence of a county clerk. The form does not ask if the couple are related.  

This article looks in-depth at aspects of cousin marriage in the state.

Types Of Cousins That Can Get Married In Connecticut

All types of cousins can get married in Connecticut, including:

If you’re not clear on what these relationships are, click on the links above. You’ll find full explanations and examples..

It’s important to be sure that your partner is your cousin and not a half-sibling. Half siblings aren’t allowed to marry in Connecticut.

If you’re unsure about what this relationship means, check out our article that explains the “half sibling” relationship. It clearly shows the difference with first cousins.

Marriage In Connecticut

What You Should Know About First Cousin Marriage In Connecticut

Connecticut requires that you apply for a marriage license to get married in the Constitution State.

You don’t have to be a resident. But be aware that some states in the U.S. may not recognize your marriage if they prohibit first cousin unions.

If you’re not a resident, you must apply for the marriage license in the town in which you intend to get married. Residents can alternatively apply in the town in which they live.

You must fill out the application form in the presence of the town clerk. The clerk will ask you under oath if the information you provided is true.

As long as you have the appropriate ID and documents, the clerk issues the marriage license at the end of your appointment.

Be prepared for the possibility that the county clerk will ask you if you are related in any way. Don’t worry and just explain the relationship.

Does the Connecticut marriage form ask if you’re related?

Some states have a section in their forms where you must state a relationship e.g. first cousin.

Genealogy Quotes By Writers x
Genealogy Quotes By Writers

You can see an example in our article on first cousin marriage in New Jersey.

We reviewed a Connecticut application form in 2022. It doesn’t ask for this information.

Who Can’t Get Married In Connecticut?

The Connecticut Family Code has quite a long list of relationships that are prohibited.

Here we go…

No man may marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt niece, stepmother, or stepdaughter…

nor a woman her father, grandfather son, grandson, brother, uncle, nephew, stepfather, or stepson.

Connecticut Family Code 46b-40, 60; 46b-21

Whew, that’s a bit of a mouthful.

The major point is that first cousins aren’t listed here, for either a man or a woman.

Connecticut laws don’t say explicitly that first cousins can marry. They simply don’t mention the relationship in their restrictions.

So, first cousins are good to go.

Do Cousins Travel To Connecticut To Get Married?

Connecticut is bordered by Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. All three states allow first cousin marriage.

Other places share borders with states that prohibit such marriages. Occasionally, legislators or media express concern that hordes of out-of-state cousins are racing into the state to get legally married.

I don’t find any such concerns expressed in Connecticut. That’s probably because the surrounding states have similar laws.

Our overview of first cousin marriage in the United States has a color-coded map that shows whether the laws allow or forbid it.

Roman Catholic Marriages

If you want to celebrate your Connecticut wedding in a Roman Catholic church, you will face separate challenges.

Historically, the Catholic Church hasn’t been keen on first cousin marriages. However, the church laws have been relaxed somewhat in recent years.

There is a process you need to go through with the hierarchy in order to get permission to marry in a church ceremony. This is known as a dispensation.

We explain in detail in our general article on what first cousins are (scroll down to the end).

What about second cousins?

Second cousins (and further out) don’t need to get special permission for a Catholic Church marriage.

We suggest that you explain the second cousin relationship to your priest before the service. This means there will be no confusion for the celebrant if there is mention of “cousins” during casual conversation later.

If you’re not sure about whether you are first or second cousins, we have an article that explains how second cousins work. It has diagrams that make it clear.

Connecticut cousin gets backlash over a Catholic wedding

Back in 2012, a Connecticut Archbishop formally rebuked a local priest for participating in a marriage with his cousin.

But wait up. This isn’t quite what you think!

The unfortunate Connecticut priest had simply traveled to New York to attend the same-sex wedding of one of his cousins to another person.

The priest gave a reading at the non-Church ceremony. He was in plain clothes, apart from his collar.

The unfortunate padre was hauled over the coals by the hierarchy when he returned home. NBC reported that most of his parishioners thought this was unfair.

Yes, I know that this isn’t about first cousin marriages. But I just thought it was interesting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some quick answers to common questions.

Does Connecticut allow relatives to marry?

Connecticut does not allow close relatives to marry.

More distant relatives such as first and second cousins are allowed to marry in the state.

Can you marry a sibling in Connecticut?

Connecticut does not allow siblings to marry. Half-siblings are also not allowed to marry.

Is it legal to marry your second cousin in Connecticut?

Marriage between second cousins is legal in Connecticut.

Other cousin relationships, such as first and third cousins, are also allowed to marry in the state.

Disclaimer

The codes and laws referenced in this article may not be the most recent version. Delaware may have more current or accurate information.

We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on other sites.

Please check official sources.

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