A small minority of states allow the creation of marriage by common law. A common law marriage is one in which there is no ceremony or marriage license. The parties must be capable of contracting and generally be of the opposite gender. A common law marriage requires an actual agreement by the two people to act as husband and wife. This agreement may be by words or conduct. In addition there must also be a holding on to of the marital status. This means the parties must represent themselves to others as married to each other, such as using the same name, calling each other husband or wife, opening joint accounts or contracting joint debt, filing a joint tax return, etc.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified marriage lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact an attorney in your area from our directory to discuss your specific legal situation.