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Are you Eligible for Common Law Marriage?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | Family Law

In the realm of relationships, common law marriage is a concept that often raises questions and sparks debates. Unlike traditional marriages, common law unions develop over time without formal ceremony or a marriage license. If you’re contemplating whether you meet the requirements of a common law marriage, it’s crucial to understand the criteria that govern this unique legal status. Here’s how you can determine if you meet the requirements for common law marriage:

One of the first determining factors is mutual agreement. Common law marriage typically begins with the mutual agreement between two individuals to enter into a marital relationship. This agreement should be clear and unequivocal, indicating a shared intention to live as spouses.

A second determining factor is cohabitation. A fundamental element of common law marriage is cohabitation. The couple must live together as a married couple would, sharing a residence and combining their lives in a manner that reflects a marital partnership.

Third, hold out as married. The couple must hold themselves out to others as a married couple. This involves presenting themselves to family, friends, and the community as if they were legally married. This can include using the same last name, referring to each other as spouses, and presenting a united front in social media and familial circles.

Additionally, time frame the duration of cohabitation plays a role in establishing common law marriage. While specific time requirements vary by jurisdiction, a considerable period of time spent living together is a generally necessary to qualify.

It’s important to note that common law marriage laws vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. Some states recognize common law marriage, while others do not. Understanding the specific laws in your area is crucial to determine whether you meet the requirements for this unique form of marital union.

If you would like to know more about common law marriage, we would be more than happy to schedule a consultation. Please call us at 214-504-2127.