Myths and truths about common law marriage

Myths and truths about common law marriage

Common law marriage is not recognized in most states (USA) today. So no matter how many years a couple lives together, they don't have to worry about common law marriage.

States that do recongnize common law marriage: Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia (if Made prior to 1997), Idaho (if created before 1996), Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only), Ohio (if created prior to 10/1991), Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (if created before 9/2003), Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The following are FALSE statements about common law marriage:

Cohabitation alone does not constitute a common law marriage

The property bought by a common law spouse will be split half and half in the event of separation

Fact: Rights to protecting a family residence and dividing family assets are only granted to legally married couples

False statements

If a couple has a child together, they must adopt him/her

Should a common law spouse die or become disabled, all assets automatically go to the surviving spouse

There is no such thing as common law divorce

Fact: if you are married by common law and then decide to end the relationship, you will still require a legal divorce.


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What Guys Said 1

  • Why I don't have her living with me more than a year at a time to avoid that, even if it means having to get her a hotel for 1-3 months to start the clock over. That would still probably be cheaper than a lawyer a few years later. Thankfully I've never had to test that assumption.

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