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Is It Illegal for a Felon to Marry Another Felon?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on January 20, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Okay, it may seem like a silly question. But in some circles, it's a completely serious and valid inquiry. In fact, a user recently asked this very question over on FindLaw Answers.

That woman -- a convicted felon -- wanted to know if she can legally marry another felon. Her probation officer said no.

Was he right? Is it illegal for a felon to marry another felon?

Possibly -- but only when at least one of the felons is currently on probation or parole.

Parolees and probationers are subject to a long list of conditions imposed by a court or parole board. Those conditions commonly include an order to stay away from other convicted felons.

Such a mandate ordinarily forbids any sort of association, socialization, cohabitation and romantic involvement with other felons. It's thus unlikely that a felon can marry another felon while one of them is on probation or parole. Dating alone would probably land a supervised party back in jail.

But what if the felons were dating before prison? Or if they were married before release? Do the terms of parole or probation still apply?

The supervised felon(s) would have to ask the judge or parole board to alter the terms of release. Laws vary, but a prior marriage would probably be more likely to earn an exception than prior dating. However, if no exception is granted, the terms of release still apply.

Remember that the above only applies to those on probation or parole. Once absolved of all release-related obligations, a felon can marry another felon -- well, as long as there is no obscure state law.

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