How do I know if I am considered to be common law married?

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How do I know if I am considered to be common law married?

My ex and I lived together for 6 years, we got a loan together, both our names were on my truck until recently. We also professed intent to marry, we called each other husband and wife around friends/co-workers, and put each other down as beneficiary on life insurance at previous jobs and as spouse and/or fiance as an emergency contact on medical forms. We split 6 months ago and I need a free consultation or an answer as to whether or not we need to get a court ordered divorce.

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Family Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most states do not  have common law marriage, so this is only potentially an issue in Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas. (And also the District of Columbia, or D.C.) If you live elsewhere, you are  not common-law married.

If you are in a state that recognized common law marriage, you need to look to the rules of your specific state--every state has its own rules. For example, TX does not have an minimum period--it just requires that you live together, agree to be married, and hold yourself out as married. In New Hampshire, though, you would have had to have been together for 3 years that way (which test you would have met).


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