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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The chapter on marriage, for instance, covers "marriage," "a woman's guardian," "a woman's father as guardian," "agnate guardians," "the necessity of a guardian," "forbidden degrees" (as they relate to foster relationships established by wet-nursing), "equality" (that is, parity between spouses), "witnesses to a marriage," the "marriage portion," "deferred and immediate payment of the marriage portion," "two types of marriage without a marriage portion," "conditions in a marriage contract," "invalid marriage due to disability or illness," "mut'a marriage," and "marriage with slaves." Such contents are impossible to summarize adequately; suffice it to say that Spectorsky considers not only general areas of agreement but also significant dissenting opinions.
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.