Will my spousal support payments end if I am considered common law married?

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Will my spousal support payments end if I am considered common law married?

I was divorced in NV, which doesn’t recognize common law marriages. My decree states that if I remarry, the spousal support ends. My son and I moved to TX and are living with my boyfriend. TXrecognizes common law marriages. If we become common law married, my boyfriend can cover me and my son on his health insurance. Also, there are obvious tax advantages for us if we are married filing jointly since I do not work. But, I don’t want to risk losing my spousal support. My thoughts are that since NV doesn’t recognize common law marriage, the payments should continue. Is this true?

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Family Law, Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, I do not think that your reasoning here works.  Let me explain why.  If you "hold yourself out as married" under what I assume the rules are for common law marriage in Texas then you will be considered married and that marriage will be recognized as valid in Nevada even though they themselves do not recognize common law marriage.  If you file jointly and indicate that you are married for insurance reasons then you are holding yourself out as married and your spouse can make his application to stop your support.  You can not pick and choose which laws to abide by.  You have to weigh here what is best for you and stick with the law.  Also, make sure that your agreement does not state co-habitation and not just re-marry.  You are co-habitating even though you are not married.  I would double check this with a lawyer in your area.


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