Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, October 8, 2010

10 Obscure U.S. Marriage Laws

Humorous piece from Woman's Day about 10 obscure U.S. marriage laws:  read it here.  My favorite is the rule on proof of manliness!


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Thanks for providing the obscure marriage laws. Here is an obscure Law from Rhode Island:

I thought I has seen it all in Rhode Island Family Court and then comes this gentleman, who unearths an obscure RI statute 15-4-11 located in Chapter 15-4 “Married Women’s Rights” .

The man argued in Pertinent Part that his wifes lawyer “is herein demanded to cease and desist his representation of my wife and return to her any funds received from her. The Man stated that “I as her husband and true agent/attorney in fact have the sole and only authority to present [sic] my wife. My authority being recognized and secured of Holy Writ, Common Law and the Laws of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”

Not surprisingly, his motion was denied. He does earn some points for creativity and legal research.

Suprisingly, This statute is still the law in RI. However, it is of dubious validity. This statute states “§ 15-4-11 Agent for husband – Husband as agent. – The wife may act as agent or attorney of her husband, and the husband may act as the agent or attorney of his wife.”

I could only imagine a husband representing his wife in a divorce against himself. I guess the guy would make out with all the marital assets.

If you cite this Statute in any Rhode Island Court you do risk being commited to a mental instution.

Read The Article here : “Husband in Rhode Island Divorce Cites Obscure State Law.”

Posted by: David Slepkow | Oct 9, 2010 11:23:21 AM

That does earn some points for powerful legal research skills!

Posted by: Margaret Ryznar | Oct 9, 2010 12:27:15 PM

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