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.