Federal law prohibits polygamy in the "territories." There are several laws, and they are quite old. Federal law also does not provide legal recognition of polygamy. It defines marriage as one man, and one woman.Originally Posted by Holly in SoCal;4070570;
The laws vary from state to state, but in general, if you do not ask for a marriage license from the state for your first (marriage), then you can cohabit with as many people as you like and it is not illegal. Bigamy and adultery are only crimes for a married person, not for people who are living together. Some jurisdictions have laws against having unmarried sex, but they are never enforced.
It also helps if you avoid labeling your relationship as a marriage. For example, living together is generally not illegal, but representing yourselves as husband and wife may be.
The government is prevented by the constitution from regulating contracts or saying who you may associate with. So you make a contract with another person, the particulars of which contain the usual things that a marriage would be composed of, but you avoid the legal hot words in the body of the contract.
But in general if you avoid a marriage license, and don't represent yourselves on official documents as being married, and don't let them declare that you have a common law marriage, then you can do what you want without worrying about it being illegal.
Polygamists are not bigamists. People in most states are free to cohabitate with whomever they wish, and bear as many children as they want to. No one is prosecuted for living together - not in this century