forbidden degrees

forbidden degrees

in Scots family law certain persons are not allowed to marry because of their relationship. Most relations by CONSANGUINITY are prohibited, as are a number of AFFINITY. Former spouses are affected, as are relations by adoption. Illegitimacy is irrelevant, and relations of the half blood are treated the same as those of the full blood. In cases of affinity, if it is not possible to petition the court for permission to marry in certain restricted circumstances, it is possible to apply for a private Act of Parliament. A Bill progressing through the Scottish Parliament proposes to remove the barriers to a marriage between a man and the mother of his former wife, a man and the former wife of his son, a woman and the father of her former husband, and a woman and the former husband of her daughter.
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Yet the laws also recorded tension between lay and ecclesiastical powers over such issues as marriage within forbidden degrees, divorce, inheritance out of wedlock, and the seizure of the property of those who were intestate.
The only thing necessary for a legal marriage was the free consent of both parties, as long as they were of age (12 for girls, 14 for boys), were not within the forbidden degrees of kinship, and were free of any other marriage.