What determines if you are common law married?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

According to the AL state courts, "A valid common law marriage exists in AL when there is capacity to enter into a marriage, present agreement or consent to be husband and wife, public recognition of the existence of the marriage, and consummation."

Basically this means that you have to be of age and mentally competent; both parties expressly intend and agree to be common law married; you hold yourselves out in public as being married (e.g. you introduce yourselves as husband and wife; file joint tax returns, etc); and you have had sexual relations.

This is just a very brief summary; you really need to consult directly with an attorney in your area.

 

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