Sanguinity - Legal Definitions - Modern Secular Law

Modern Secular Law

Issues of consanguinity arise in several aspects of the law. It is directly relevant in determining whether a couple can marry. These are linked to a jurisdiction's definition of incest, so that couples in an incestuous relationship will not be permitted to marry. Some United States jurisdictions forbid first-cousins to marry, while others limit the prohibition to brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles.

Several volumes of Smith's Laws, enacted from 1700 through 1829, contain certain public and private laws of the Province and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Several laws with a prescribed punishment against adultery, bigamy, incest and fornication and all combinations of those crimes were enacted in 1705.

Consanguinity is also relevant in issues of inheritance. In regard to the law of intestate succession (when a person dies without a will), under the Uniform Probate Code of the United States section 2-103, after a surviving spouse receives his or her share, the descendants (depending on the circumstances this may include children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren, either biological or adopted) receive the remainder of the intestate estate. If there are no children, the decedent's parent(s) receive the remainder of the estate. If there are neither descendants nor parents, the decedent's estate is distributed to descendants of the decedent's parents (again, depending on the circumstances, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews and great grand nieces and nephews). If there are no descendants, parents, or descendants of parents, then the deceased's property passes to descendants of the grandparents of the decedent (uncles and aunts, first cousins, or first cousins once, twice, or thrice removed, second cousins, third cousins etc).

Also, some jurisdictions prohibit individuals from serving on a jury in which they have a certain degree of consanguinity with the defendant.

Adoption may or may not be considered at law to create such a bond; in most Western societies, adoptive relationships are considered blood relationships for these purposes, but in others, including both Japan and ancient Rome, it was common for a couple with only daughters to adopt a son-in-law, making the marriage one between adoptive siblings.

Read more about this topic:  Sanguinity, Legal Definitions

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