In Ohio are there any legal consequences if someone is considered common law and signs their partners last name, instead of their legal last name, on a mortgage application?

reportedly, the person preparing the mortgage told them to sign their partners last
name even though last name hadn’t been legally changed

Asked on January 16, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

There would only be legal consequences if there had been an intent to defraud, such as to apply for or get a mortgage as a married couple when not actually marrried. So if this person qualifies to be common law married, there is no fraud and no legal consequences.
WI (the state listed on your question's heading) does not recognize common law marriage, unless it was validly entered into in another state (by meeting that state's requirements). You write that the person lives in OH; OH only recognizes common law marriages if entered into in OH before November 1991 (so it must have been entered into 27 years ago) or in another state which recognizes such marriages. So your friend or associate must be sure that she is in fact common law married; simply living together and sharing lives for a number of years does not automatically qualify.

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