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Common law marriage

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2020 | Divorce

Each state in the United States has different rules on marriage. These include who could be married, age requirements, and other technical requirements like blood tests and waiting periods after a divorce. According to FindLaw, there are differences among the states about whether it is legal and how you can create a common law marriage.

But they all have various components. Those components are the intent of the couple, how the couple acts in public, how they hold themselves out and how they consider themselves. All of the states recognize a couple who is common law married if they are considered common law married in the state where they just came from. For example, if they moved to a state that does not allow common law marriage among its citizens, they are already considered common law married.

According to Nolo, the other thing that all the states recognize is if you have established a common law marriage, you can get divorced. Often, divorce is the context where common law marriage comes up. There are not any cases yet where a court has considered this, but it is logical that this is going to apply to everyone who is married. In fact, in some of the court decisions where they were arguing about same sex marriage before it became widely accepted and approved, they did discuss common law marriage in that context and how that is a different rule among the different states.

So, think about how you refer to each other. Are you intending to hold yourselves out as common law, married people or not? Will you just be referring to each other as a term of endearment? But if you intend for it to be a marriage, you just might be married.


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