A new law took effect on October 1, 2022 that affects the information on this page. See House Bill 83. This page will be updated.
Topics on this page
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
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
To marry without parental consent, a person must be at least 18 years old.
- If one of the parties is 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
In Maryland, you may only be lawfully married to a single living person at a time. To marry again while a first spouse is alive, an individual must receive an annulment or an absolute divorce. Getting married a second time without ending the prior marriage may result in prosecution and imprisonment for bigamy. If you have lost contact with your spouse for an extended period of time and do not know if your spouse is alive, you should still obtain a divorce before remarrying.
Read the Law: Md. Code, Criminal Law § 10-502
A marriage by proxy (where someone else stands in for the individuals getting married) is prohibited. Both parties must be present and participate in the ceremony. However, Maryland courts may recognize a valid, foreign proxy marriage.
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