Marrying Your Mother-in-Law

Marrying Your Mother-in-Law – Cultural Divorce Part VIII

Marrying Your Mother-in-Law – Cultural Divorce Part VIII is part of Abbas Hadjian’s CULTURALLY SPEAKING series published in The Daily Journal.

Can I marry my mother-in-law?

The other day I received a call from an Iranian client. He asked: “Can I marry my mother-in-law?” The answer is short and relatively simple under Iranian law and many other Islamic (and non-Islamic countries), i.e., No. 

But not in California.

Marriage in Iran creates a zone of privacy around the blood relatives and in-laws of the married persons, called حریم (harim). It forbids marriage to the parents of an ex-spouse (by decree or death) forever. In California, strange as it may sound, the Family Code does not create such a zone of privacy and prohibition; therefore, the in-laws may get married. Under California law, incestuous marriage is limited to blood-related parents and children and for the siblings, full or half-blood. So, under California law, to the question, “Can I marry my Mother-in-law?”  I answered, 

“Yes, you may marry your mother-in-law but don’t disclose it out of the state. It may be a crime elsewhere.” 

Marrying your mother-in-law is not a crime in California.

Hadjian, Abbas. (2023, July 3). Cultural Divorce, Part VIII: Marrying Your Mother-in-Law. The Daily Journal.

Abbas Hadjian is a California divorce attorney and an Expert in Iranian Civil Law.

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