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Top 5 Dumb Marriage Laws

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on June 23, 2011 6:47 AM

In an ode to morality (and perhaps absurdity), there have been a lot of dumb laws that have graced the pages of this country's statutory compilations. And though they span dozens of topics, nothing--nothing--beats those that fall into the category of dumb marriage laws.

An odd mixture of superstitious, intrusive, practical, and downright bizarre, these laws regulate everything from prank marriages to evil mother-in-laws.

For a peek into this wonderful world, here are our top 5 dumb marriage laws.

1. Marriage by Proxy.

In Montana, neither the bride nor groom actually have to show up for their own wedding. With the help of a lawyer, they can replace themselves with "proxies" who will say their vows and sign the marriage license on their behalf.

2. No Mystical Officiants.

If a bride and groom decide to show up for their own wedding in New Orleans, they better be careful about who is presiding over the ceremony. The city has outlawed marriages performed by anyone claiming to have divine powers, such as fortune tellers, palm readers and healers.

3. No Seductive Proposals.

Men, if the entire marriage thing is a huge joke, you better stay away from South Carolina. A man over the age of 16 can't propose for the sole purpose of getting into his girlfriend's pants.

4. Evil Mother-In-Laws.

If you want to divorce your husband because he's rude to your mother, you better not live in Wichita, Kansas. Such animosity is not grounds for divorce.

5. Please Stay Divorced.

And finally, in Kentucky, you cannot marry the same man for a fourth time.

Come to think of it, this last one shouldn't be on a list of dumb marriage laws--the fourth time is not a charm.

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