do we have to file for a divorce?

Me and my partner have been together for almost 10 years. We never ‘legally’ got
married but have lived together since 2008, and have 2 children together.

Asked on September 8, 2017 under Family Law, Alabama


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In AL, you can be considered to be married if if no formal cereminy was conducted. If you meet the criteria for "common law" marriage, then you are legally married and will be treated as a married couple, including the requirement that you get a legal divorce in order to end the relationship. In order to have a valid common law marriage, however, there are 3 requirements that must have been met: the couple must have: (1) intended to be married (even if no formal marriage took place), (2) lived together for a significant period of time, and (3) must have held themselves out as a married couple (e.g. referred to the other as their spouse, etc.). Depending onthe specific sutution then, you may or may not be "married". At this point, if you need further information you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.