Am I common law married?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Am I common law married?

I have been living with a man, we consider ourselves married. He recently passed
away and I’m watching people treat me like I have no ground as his common law
wife because I’m still legally married to someone else and have been since 2005.
He is astranged and I have been separated from him since 2007.

Asked on August 5, 2019 under Family Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you were still legally married to someone else, then even if you and he were estranged, you are not common law married to the gentleman who recently passed away. No U.S. states allow someone to be married to two (or more) people simultaneously; if you are married to person A, then you cannot marry person B, whether in the traditional way or with a common law marriage, and any claimed marriage will be void. You were therefore not married to the second gentleman, because you were still legally married to the first at the time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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