What are Common Law Marriage States?
As of March 2011 within the United States, there exist sixteen states that recognize a common law marriage as a legal and recognizable matrimonial institution; this recognition of common law marriage does not carry over to other States that do not recognize common law marriages.
The following 11 States enact Common Law Marriage:
Within the following 5 States that do not enact the process of common law marriage, supplementary stipulations specific to each State’s legislation exist:
The common law marriage is recognized in the event that it was filed prior to January 1st, 1997
The common law marriage is recognized in the event that it was filed prior to January 1st, 1996
The common law marriage is recognized in the event that it was filed for inheritance purposes
The common law marriage is recognized in the event that it was filed prior to October 10th, 1991
The common law marriage is recognized in the event that it was filed before January 1st, 2005
What is Common Law Marriage?
A Common law marriage is classified as a legal matrimony processes that allows for a couple who maintains romantic involvement to be considered legally wed; as in the case of a common law marriage, couples eligible to wed under the precepts of Common Law are not required to participate in a wedding ceremonies; furthermore, these couples are not required to obtain marriage certificates.
What is Common Law?
Common Law is considered to rely more heavily – if not completely – on the legal statutes and stipulations inherent to Case Law, which is a legal field within which past sentencing and review are employed as legal guidelines for sentencing; typically, the rulings enacted in the past will serve as guidelines with regard to future rulings.
What is the ‘Full Faith and Credit Clause’?
The ‘Full Faith and Credit Clause’ existing within the Constitution of the United States – in Article IV, Section 1 – mandates the requirement of individual States to recognize legal finding rendered by other State judiciaries, individual States are not required to recognize a Common Law Marriage as a legal institution regardless of whether or not they were enacted within Common Law Marriage States.
Guidelines of Common Law Marriage States
Couples eligible for Common Law Marriage – within Common Law Marriage States – are required to present themselves as a married couple both in conduct, as well as lifestyle; this includes behaving in a manner that is indicative of marriage permanent and longstanding in nature. Furthermore, couples eligible for Common Law Marriage within Common Law Marriage States are required to share a residence for a substantial period of time while undergoing a lifestyle illustrative of cohabitation; this will include a requirement to claim one another as a spouse on all applicable documents, applications, and forms.