Did you ever find yourself shaking your head at some ridiculous laws still on the books? I know I have. I know that there are many silly laws still in effect for criminal offenses. But I didn’t know that family law is guilty of the same thing. Here are some funny family laws to consider the next time you’re in court.
Ahh…Vermont. Peaceful country lanes, maple syrup, and dentures? Apparently, in Vermont wives must get permission from their husbands if they would like dentures. Unwilling to take this one on its face, I just had to find the actual case that caused this to become a law.
This law is actually based on a contract for dentures. Since the wife was considered an agent of the husband at that time, he was liable for the dentures. He allowed her to keep them and therefore he owed the dentist the money for the work. According to the court at this time, “the plaintiff (dentist), from the previous dealings which he had had with the defendant (husband), had reason to believe that the wife was authorized to contract for the plate.” Gilman v. Andrus, 28 Vt. 241 (1856). Due to this case, the major expense of dentures, and a lack of authority on the wife’s part to enter into a contract without the husband’s knowledge, this little piece of weird history was created. Thankfully, women now have autonomy and their own bank accounts now. Whew!
Kentucky According to Woman's Day Magazine, a law in Kentucky forbids a woman from marrying the same man more than three times. While I did try to find the basis for this law, I was unsuccessful. Apparently, it became law around the time that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were very popular. I suppose the Kentucky legislature was worried they would see an increase in divorces and remarriages around this time!
Love is…sharing your passwords. But not in Tennessee. Passed in 2011, the Tennessee Login Law made it a crime to share passwords with friends and family members. And while it was created to protect against hackers, it can easily affect you.
Charges equal to stealing under $500.00 are considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Charges over $500.00 are considered a felony with serious fines and jail time. With these kinds of charges, you better make sure the person you are sharing with really, really loves you.
When Nebraska comes to mind, most people think of farms, clear horizons, buffalo, and fields of tall grass. But in family law, what should come to mind is sexually transmitted diseases.
In Nebraska, state law prohibits anyone with any kind of venereal disease from marrying another person. And while this may sound a bit strange to you, consider these facts. The average age of marriage in Nebraska is 26 for women and 28 for men. And while nationally Nebraska has one of the lowest STD transmission rates, they have had a 364% increase in cases of syphilis from 2017-2021. The law exists to protect people from unknowingly marrying someone with an STD, but it is nearly unenforceable. It has been challenged in case law many times. In 1944, in the case Christensen v. Christensen, 144 Neb. 763, 14 N.W.2d 613 (1944), the court found that when you knowingly have an STD and enter into marriage you may not 1) seek an annulment and 2) the other party may make the marriage voidable. That is because “the marriage is valid, even though [the] license was wrongfully obtained.” Baker v. Baker, 112 Neb. 738, 200 N.W. 1003 (1924). Although this is a very old law still on the books, it seems that this one may just stick around.
While these laws are a bit strange, they aren’t the only ones out there. If you know of any strange family law still on the books, be sure to reach out to us through social media. We love to hear from our fans. Find us on all social media platforms @birdlawpro