Am i married?

I live in South Carolina and my
boyfriend and I filed joint taxes
as a common law couple, does this
mean that we are legitimately
married?

Asked on April 10, 2017 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Many people mistakenly believe that living together for a set period of time creates a common law marriage. This is not true. A couple can live together one night and be common law married and live together twenty years yet still not be married. The test of a common law marriage is the present intent to be married and there are no ""impediments to marriage (i.e. a brother who wants to marry his sister, children who want to get married, someone who is already married, etc.). In order to establish a common law marriage, the parties must have lived together for some period of time, the must have intended to be married and they must have held themselves out as husband and wife (e.g. filed joint tax returns). However, since various factors need to be considered, you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney as they can best advise you further.


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