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What Constitutes a Common Law Marriage?

December 5, 2008


 

There are no clean-cut designations that determine whether someone is common law married or not. All that needs to be shown is that the two of you intended to be common law married and presented yourselves to the public as a married couple. In order to establish a common law marriage, Courts will be looking for specific indicators such as whether or not you maintained joint financial accounts, or joint credit cards. They will also ask if you filed joint tax returns, or listed your significant other as a “spouse” on insurance forms. If other evidence suggests that you are not common law married, however, such findings can negate these items.


 

 


 

Common Law Checklist:


 

Joint tax returns


 

Beneficiary on insurance


 

Joint accounts or jointly held property


 

Socially represented themselves as married


 

Those who will testify that they believed the couple was married


 

The wearing of wedding bands


 

Woman’s adoption of the man’s surname


 

Indication of marital status on employment applications


 

Tokens of marriage


 

Mail addressed to the couple


 

Address labels


 

Greeting on home telephone messaging


 

Hosting holiday gatherings as a couple


 

Identification of common law marriage date

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