A common law marriage is when a couple lives together for a period of time and holds themselves out to friends, family, and the community as “being married,” but never goes through a formal ceremony or get a marriage license.
Requirements to Prove Common Law Marriage:
1. Couple agrees to be married;
2. Couple lives together(cohabitates) in this state and,
3. Couple holds themselves out to others as married to each other.
Examples of holding out as being a married couple:
- Taking the same last name
- Referring to each other in public as “husband” or “wife”
- Joint bank accounts
- Joint credit cards
Both parties must have the legal right or “capacity to marry”
- Both must be 18 years old
- Both must be of sound mind
- Both must not be married to someone else
If a legal action to prove a common law marriage is not commenced within 2 years after the parties ceased living together, a presumption arises that the parties had not agreed to be married.
Contact Yale Law at (940) 891-4800 for more information.