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Is betrothal of two parties legal in the United states?

Monterey, CA |

Can I allow my parents to choose my spouse and enter me into a betrothal/marriage contract?

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Attorney answers 3


You cannot be forced to marry someone in the United States.

Michael Schwerin, San Jose, California phone: 408-295-4232 email: Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


You can do these things but the contract will not be enforceable in the U.S. as to the obligation to marry.

It is possible that such a contract could qualify as a pre-nuptial agreement and provisions re asset management might be enforceable, if certain procedures (independent counsel for each party, as one example) and conditions are satisfied. But the far better and more reliable course would be a stand-alone pre-nup that did not purport to constitute an agreement to marry.

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I agree with the answers above. I would clarify that your parents cannot enter into a contract as to your rights or obligations. That said, they can contract as to their own rights. Also, they can prepare a contract for you to sign yourself if you wish to be bound by the terms.