If you were common law married and filed your taxes as married but never got a divorce, is it legal to get married to someone else?

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If you were common law married and filed your taxes as married but never got a divorce, is it legal to get married to someone else?

Is it legal to get married to someone else if you have been separated for 2 years and have a child with someone else? My ex-husband by common law marriage is planning to be married in a week and has

already obtained his marriage license, but is unsure of whether or not his marriage will be valid if we do not get a divorce or if we are truly required to get a divorce and is considered a crime?

Asked on April 15, 2017 under Family Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In OK, all common law marriages that were contracted in prior to 1998 are recognized by the state. In order to have a common law marriage, a couple is required to co-habitate on a permanent and exclusive basis. They must also consider themselves husband and wife, and publicly hold themselves out as married (e.g. file joint tax returns). However, common law marriages entered into after 1998, are complicated as the courts today may go either way when it comes to the staus of these marriages. In order to gain the benefits of marriage, a couple may have to have a traditional ceremony. Consulting directly with a local divorce attorney is advisable. That having been said, if a valid common law marriage was formed, then a divorce must be obtained before either spouse can remarry. Otherwise, to enter into a second marriage without legally ending the first, constitutes the crime of bigamy.


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