How common law marriage and divorces work
What is Common Law Marriage?
A common law marriage comes into existence when a couple live together without obtaining a marriage license. The requirements of a common law marriage may vary for different states. If, however, you and your partner wish to enter a common law marriage, you must meet some basic criteria:
- Both of you must be at least 18 years of age
- You must share your residence with your partner
- Both of you must conduct yourselves as a married couple in public
- You and your partner must consider and declare yourself married
How to Get a Common Law Divorce?
When Common law marriage couples wish to separate, they are required to go through the same legal proceedings as traditionally married couples. Either of the partners will have to prove the validity of the marriage, and to prevent the other partner exercise community separation rights, one of the spouses may try to prove the marriage did not existed. In such cases, the partner looking to exercise their rights will have to present evidence, such as a written agreement or witnesses who can verify the person’s statement that both the partners conducted themselves as married couple in public.
Property Division in Common Law Divorce
Property division rules as dictated by Family Law Act are not applicable in common law marriages. Partners in a common law marriage cannot claim a share in the property or assets held by the other partner. The rights to the property they brought or any additions to existing assets made during the marriage is exclusively held by the partner. Both the partners, however, can claim a share in the property they acquired jointly during the marriage. If one of the partners contributed financially or in some other way to enhance the value of assets held by the other person, they can claim a share in respect to their contribution.
How Do We Help?
For couples filing a common law divorce, understanding the rights and responsibilities can be an uphill task. This is when the divorce lawyer can help. Our team consists of licensed common law attorneys who have years of experience in handling divorce cases. We provide assistance at every step, from completing paperwork to negotiating an agreement covering all key aspects such as child support and alimony. We follow a transparent process and do not charge any retainer fees to minimize the financial burden for our clients.