Is it still a common-law marriage if I was too scared of him to say no?

I was living with a man for about 8 months in 2 different common law states. He asked me if I would consider him my husband. I said yes but only because he was very volatile and I was afraid he would hurt or kill me if I said no. Now, we’ve split up but he is trying to say we still have a common-law marriage. Is this true if I was afraid to say no because I feared for my life? He threatened to burn our residence down with both of us inside the first time I tried to leave him and held a knife to my throat twice.

Asked on June 7, 2012 under Family Law, Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written about, you need to consult with a family law attorney and law enforcement about the threats that you are subject to regarding the man that you are with and the posisbility of getting an emergncy protective order where he is not allowed within so many yards of you.

Just because the state or states that you reside in with this man may recognize common law marriages, there is nothing preventing you legally from simply moving on with your life without this man that you seem afraid of being with.

Under the laws of states recognizing common law marriages, one in such a situation can simply move on without the common law spouse.

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