There is this new trend that I recently became familiar with called “sologamy.” (Not too familiar with, though.) It is also commonly known as “marrying yourself.” Many (okay, just some) want to know, “Is it legal to marry yourself?”, so I thought I would give a legal perspective on the matter. In this article I will explore what, if any, consequences there might be for having a marriage ceremony with only one set of vows involved.
In order to best understand the legal implications of self-marriage, the social phenomenon must first be understood.
Sologamy is described as a self-commitment to value oneself to a higher level. Practitioners try to love themselves more and have more compassion for themselves so that they can live better individual lives. Practicing this type of self-love is intended to reduce the overall suffering of the world one person at a time.
Those that practice sologamy emphasize how much daily practice is actually required to do it right. Every day, individuals who marry themselves acknowledge that they are in a relationship with him- or herself first.
Self-marriages are performed by private companies or just performed individually. There are no strict rules on how a self-marriage should be performed. For example, you do not need to give yourself a ring or recite vows to yourself, however, these are some common practices among sologamists. (And let’s be honest, if you really love yourself, you aren’t going to skimp.)
State and Government Recognition
Self-marriages do not require a marriage certificate. This is because self-marriages are not recognized by any states in the United States. Currently, US states will only recognize marriages between two people. That means that if you are already married to another person, you can still self marry without implicating anti-bigamy or polygamy laws. (Whether your spouse will consider you unfaithful will largely depend on the nature and extent of your self commitment.)
Additionally, there are not any tax advantages for practicing sologamists as there would be for married couples. Benefits that would be available to traditional married couples like estate tax benefits, government benefits, and employment benefits are also not available to self-married individuals.
However, if your goal in getting self-married is focused on self-actualization, the fact that your State or the Federal Government does not recognize sologamy is not likely a deterrent.
The Bottom Line
Yes, sologamy is legal in the strictest sense of the word. There are no laws against the practice in any of the fifty states in the US. You cannot be arrested or fined for marrying yourself.
Individuals are free to make commitments to themselves at any time they choose. In fact, personal goals and resolutions are made and broken by individuals daily without legal implication. (No, you can’t sue yourself for breach of contract.)
If you are interested in reading more about someone who self-married and her experiences in doing so (you know you are) go ahead and click on the article below.
Matt Pfau is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau. Matt has a background in business consulting, estate planning, business start-ups and bankruptcy and is licensed to practice in both Nevada and California. A partner in the firm Parry & Pfau, he can be reached at 702-912-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.