Rules against marrying affine relatives (relatives-in-law and step-relatives)
Posted: Posted July 2nd, 2019 by chiarizio
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In what societies that you know about is a person prohibited from marrying a relative’s step-relative or relative-in-law?
Or a step-relative’s or relative-in-law’s relative?

For instance, sibling’s spouse’s sibling?

Or more generally, a sibling’s or parent’s or child’s step-child or step-parent or step-sibling or sibling-in-law or child-in-law or parent-in-law?
Or, a step-(parent/child/sibling)’s or (parent/child/sibling)-in-law’s parent or child or sibling?

If I understand Wikipedia correctly, modern Roman Catholic canon law prohibits a man from marrying any blood-relative of his deceased or former wife whom her brother couldn’t marry because of consanguinity, and prohibits a woman from marrying any blood-relative of her deceased or former husband whom his sister couldn’t marry because of consanguinity.

But, in the past, they prohibited a man marrying his brother’s wife’s sister or his sister’s husband’s sister, or in general a consanguineous relative’s current or deceased or former spouse’s consanguineous relative. However the rule now is “affinity does not beget affinity”. If two people marry, he is now related to all her blood-relatives, and she is now related to all his blood-relatives, but his relatives are not necessarily now related to her relatives; and most of them mostly aren’t.

In Ireland and Great Britain there have been rules about marrying a parent-in-law or step-parent or child-in-law or step-child or sibling-in-law or step-sibling. But as I understand it most of them have been dropped, by the time the UK joined the EU, if not earlier.


Does anyone know whether any culture has ever had rules against marrying an -in-law’s -in-law?
Or a step-‘s step-?
Or an in-law’s step- or a step-‘s -in-law?

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