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Common law marriage: is it recognized if you change state?


People who plan to get married under the common law marriage have various doubts about the same. The most common question that one has is if they relocate to any other state is will their marriage be still recognized? To clear these various doubts related to common law marriage we have discussed this law in detail in this section. We have provided you information regarding the same so that you can plan things accordingly.

To get married under the Common law marriage, one has to fulfill the following criteria

  • The couples must live together for a sufficient period of time
  • They must act like married couples and share responsibilities towards each other like married couples like; referring to your partner like husband or wife, filling joint tax return, woman using the man’s last surname
  • Both have the intention of being married

States where common law marriage is recognized

There are some states where common law marriage is recognized. If you get married in these states under the common law marriage then you and your partner will be considered as legally married. Even if you don’t have a marriage license then also you are married under the eyes of law. A couple married under the common law will have to abide to the same rules that are meant for other married couples. In case they wish to get separated they have to hire a divorce lawyer and get divorced.

For people who are in live in relation in a state where this law is recognized but don’t wish to fall under the jurisdiction of this law, they have to consult a family lawyer who will sign the agreement signed previously by such couples. The agreement will state that the couples intend to live together without the intention of getting married. It will also state that the couples do not intend to get into any form of marital relation be it under common law marriage or anything else.

States that recognize common law marriage (alphabetic order)

Georgia (created before 1/1/97)
Idaho (created before 1/1/96)
New Hampshire (inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/10/91)
Oklahoma (created before 11/1/98)
Pennsylvania (created before 1/1/05)
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Washington, D.C.

States where common law marriage is not recognized

If you move to any state where this law is not recognized you will lose your marital status; therefore, you have to find other means by which you can recognize your relationship with your partner. You will lose all such legal status that comes with the marital status. So if you want to get separated from your partner (married under the common law marriage) in such a state then you will not require divorce lawyers as you are not married according to that state.

If you want to know more about this law related to your state then consult the best divorce lawyers of your state for the same.



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