Legal Common-Law Marriages

  1. Anyone on the site legally married through common law??

    What are your thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and ideas on

    this extremely debatable subject?????
  2. Visit nana kathy profile page

    About nana kathy

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 78
    PCC/RA personal care companion/resident assistant in.


  3. by   NurseDennie
    There aren't many states that recognize common-law marriage any more. Interesting....

    I had a friend in Canada who had a common-law marriage, and nobody was 100% sure as to whether or not they were really married when the time came that they broke up. They had gone through a pagan "handfasting" which complicated things. One of the requirements for a common-law marriage is the intention to marry. The upshot of it was that they may or may not have been legally married, but they did have to have a divorce, "just in case."

    A friend I know now has had more divorces than she's had marriages! She went away with her boyfriend right after high school and they were together for almost 10 years. They were so afraid of their parents that they told them that they were married. They went ahead and got a divorce even though they never had a common-law marriage!


  4. by   NurseDennie
    I looked it up.

    Common law is only recognized in Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only), Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina. Texas and Utah .

    The web page says:

    Contrary to popular belief, even if two people live together for a certain number of years, if they don't intend to be married and present themselves to others as a married couple, there is no common law marriage. More particularly, a common law marriage can occur only when:

    a heterosexual couple lives together in a state that recognizes common law marriages

    for a significant period of time (not defined in any state)

    holding themselves out as a married couple -- typically this means using the same last name, referring to the other as "my husband" or "my wife" and filing a joint tax return,


    intending to be married. "

    It says that unless all four conditions are met, then there is no common law marriage. Interesting! Thanks for bringing this up - I had no idea I was this interested in this subject.