TN 26 (12-98)

GN 00306.035 Child Born of Void Marriage

A. Definition

A void marriage is one that is legally nonexistent from the beginning under State law with or without a judicial decree.

B. Policy — Void Marriage Statutes

1. General

If the child cannot qualify under the invalid ceremonial provision of the act, it may be possible to find the child legitimate under a State void marriage statute.

2. True Void Marriage Statutes

  1. The States listed in GN 00306.040 have true void marriage statutes, which give the child of a void marriage legitimate status without court action. Generally, the child of an attempted marriage contracted in good faith by at least one of the parties is deemed the legitimate child of both parents.

  2. An attempted marriage may include attempted common-law marriages even if applicable State law does not recognize common-law marriage. An attempted common-law marriage includes a marriage which is invalid because of an impediment to a valid common-law marriage. See GN 00306.040 for exceptions to these general rules.

3. Statutes Legitimating Children of Marriages Decreed Void

GN 00306.045 lists those States that do not have true void marriage statutes but have laws providing that a child of a marriage declared void by judicial decree may be considered or may be decreed legitimate. Except for New York, submit cases involving these State laws to the RCC under GN 01010.815 ff. for an opinion on the child's legitimacy.

4. Child Born Before Marriage

In some States, the void marriage statute applies only to children born after the void marriage. If there is no precedent opinion, submit cases to the RCC per GN 01010.815 ff. where a child born before a void marriage claims to be legitimate because of a void marriage statute.

C. Policy — Evidence of Relationship

For a child considered legitimate under a void marriage statute, a BC is sufficient evidence of relationship if it meets the requirements in GN 00306.010.

D. Policy — Louisiana Putative Marriage

A child born of a Louisiana putative marriage, if in force at the death of one party, has inheritance rights even though the marriage is bigamous or otherwise void. See GN 00305.085 for an explanation of putative marriages.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306035
GN 00306.035 - Child Born of Void Marriage - 03/09/2006
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:03/09/2006