Marriage is not for everyone. While some people need to stand up in front of family and friends during a ceremony, others like to simply live together as husband and wife, without any documentation to back that up. This latter situation is known as a common-law marriage and although it may work for some people, it is important for anyone that enters into one to understand how to protect their rights.
What Constitutes a Common Law Marriage
Of course, not everyone that lives together is considered to be in a common-law marriage. In most circumstances, people wishing to enter into this type of relationship must:
- Live together for a certain amount of time
- Have the legal right to marry
- Intend to marry at some point
- Recognize the other person as their husband or wife
Not all states recognize common law marriage and so, the above requirements only apply to those that do....