Common Law Marriage has been there in the United States since 1877. There are many who consider this as to be living together relationship, but in reality, there are some differences in between the two. The common law marriage procedure is there in some places in the US such as Alabama, Columbia, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Montana, Texas, South Carolina and Utah. Also in places like Georgia, New Hampshire, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, there is some recognize given to the law.
Now the main question that is asked by some people even in the US is that how does common law marriage work.
Meaning of Common Law Marriage
Common Law marriage is the method where a couple can stay together as a married couple, but without any legal formality of getting married. So, this means that the couple can stay together as husband and wife, but in reality, they are not married. Also, the living together will be only considered under the common law marriage if the couple discloses about their living together as husband and wife to their friends and family members.
Set of Rules to Be Followed
Just living together does not come under the common law marriage. There are a few sets of rules that should be followed by the couple.
· The couple should be living together for a particular span of time as per rule by the state.
· Both the people should have the legal right to get married such as they should be above 18 years of age, should be of sound mind and also should not be married to someone else.
· Both the partners in the couple should have the intention to get married.
· Friends and family should be aware of the relationship. This can be done by using the same last name, considering each other as husband and wife at all places and having joint bank accounts and credit cards.
Other Important Points
Recently a few of the places such as Rhode Island, Columbia and Iowa has also considered same-sex marriage under the common law marriage.
Often there is another very common question that is often asked that how can the couple split out from the common law marriage. The common law marriage is as legal as the legalized marriage and hence just splitting out does not end up the terms. The court has to grant a divorce for the couple who wants to split up even in the case of the common law marriage.
Also, the couple automatically splits up if one of the partners dies. In the case of death of a partner, the other partner has to prove the existence of the common law marriage to get the insurance claim. There can be various ways to prove it such as:
· If the couple was living together and it was known by friends and family.
· If the woman used the man’s last name.
· If the couple had joint bank accounts or joint tax returns.
· If the couple considered each other as husband and wife and this is mentioned in any contract of the house or vehicle that has been taken together.
Marriage law changes are constantly depending upon various factors, and a similar thing happens for common law marriage too. At present, the above-mentioned rules are followed for common law marriage in different parts of the US.
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