I have been cohabiting with my significant other for 21 years. We live in Kansas. If we were to split up would we have to get legally divorced, even if it was amicable?

If one or the other partners questioned the
property acquired during the 21 years together,
would we then have to be legally divorced?

Asked on July 9, 2017 under Family Law, Kansas


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

KS is one of the few states that still recognizes common law marriages. To establish such a marriage all of following 3 requirements must be met: (1) both patires must have had must have been the intent to be married; (2) there was continuous cohabitation between the parties; and (3); there was a public ceclaration or the parties held themselves out as husband and wife. If all of the requirements were met, then a valid common law marriage was formed. Accordingy, you would have to get a legal divorce, the same as any other married couple. You can google for more information and/or consult directly with a local divorce attorney.

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