Who May Marry in Maryland
Same sex marriage is legal in Maryland, as long as the law does not otherwise prohibit the individuals from marrying (for example, where they are closely related).
Read the Law: Md. Code, Family Law § 2–201
Marriage is prohibited between a person and his or her:
- brother or sister
- grandparent's spouse
- spouse's grandparent
- aunt or uncle
- spouse’s parent
- spouse’s grandchild
- grandchild's spouse
- niece or nephew
- child's spouse
Read the Law: Md. Code, Family Law § 2-202
To marry without parental consent, a person must be at least 18 years old.
- If both parties are 16 or 17 years old, the parties may marry with parental consent OR if a physician certifies that a female to be married is pregnant or has given birth to a child.
- For an individual who is 15 years of age, marriage is permitted only with parental consent AND a physician’s certification that a female to be married is pregnant or has given birth.
- Individuals under 15 cannot marry in Maryland.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Family Law § 2-301
To marry again while a first spouse is alive, an individual must receive an annulment or an absolute divorce. Getting married a second time after failing to end a first marriage may result in prosecution and imprisonment for bigamy. If you have lost contact with your spouse for an extended period of time, you should still obtain a divorce before remarrying.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Criminal Law § 10-502
A marriage by proxy is prohibited. Both parties must be present and participate in the ceremony. However, Maryland courts may recognize a valid, foreign proxy marriage.
Read the case: Tshiani v. Tshiani, 208 Md. App. 43 (2012)
Breach of Promise
In Maryland, you cannot sue the person to whom you are/were engaged, for “breach of promise to marry” except if you, the plaintiff, are pregnant.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Family Law § 3-102