by a justice of the peace in his county; or by the several religious societies agreeably to the rules and regulations of their respective churches. If the parties are married by the rules of any church, notice of the marriage must first be published in the presence of the congregation on two separate days of worship, the first notice to be at least ten days previous to such marriage, and in the county in which the female resides. And, in order that record evidence of a marriage may always exist, a license to marry must first be obtained from the probate court before the marriage can be legally solemnized; and a certificate of such marriage, signed by the minister or justice of the peace solemnizing the same, must be filed by the person so officiating with the court where the license issued. This certificate must be filed with the court within three months from date of marriage, under a penalty of fifty dollars fine for neglect to do so, and the court must make a record of the certificate of marriage under a like penalty. These last provisions do not apply to parties who are married by the rules of any church.
In New York, marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, is expressly declared to be a civil contract, to which the consent of the parties, who must be capable in law of contracting, is essential. Marriage between parents and children, and grandparents and grandchildren, of every degree, and between brothers and sisters of the half or whole blood, are declared to be incestuous and absolutely void. So a second or other subsequent marriage contracted by any person during the lifetime of any former husband or wife of such person, is absolutely void, unless the marriage of such former husband or wife shall have been annulled for some cause other than the adultery of such person, or unless such former husband or wife shall have been finally sentenced to imprisonment for life. But for causes existing at the time of marriage, where either of the parties is incapable of contracting for want of age or understanding, or from physical causes, or where consent has been obtained through force or fraud, the marriage is void only from the time its nullity shall be declared by a court of competent authority. So, if any person, whose husband or wife shall have absented himself or herself for the space of five consecutive years without being known to such person to be living during that time, shall marry during the lifetime of such absent husband or wife, the marriage shall be void only from the time its nullity is pronounced by a court of competent authority. The law authorizing a legal separation, or a limited divorce, in New York, has been repealed, and the only causes arising after marriage for which a legal marriage can be annulled are adultery and imprisonment for life; and a pardon to the person sentenced to imprisonment for life will not restore to him or her the rights of a previous marriage. In a case of divorce for adultery the complainant may marry again during the life of the defendant; but no defendant convicted of adultery can marry again until the death of the complain-