Post # 1
I’ve seen this term here a few times. Is this just slang? To me it’s a bit of an oxymoron, either you’re married or not.
Common law relationship makes sense to me. I would use the term to describe the relationship DH and I had before we got married if I needed to defined it for taxes or something legal based. Here, it wasn’t the correct legal term, but people understand it better than an adult interdependent relationship. I would have never said we were common law married though.
Post # 3
Common law marriage doesn’t exist in the state that I live in any more. If you are not actually married, you aren’t considered to be common law.
Common law marriage is a couple that have been together for a certain number of years. In PA, it used to be 7 years and then you were considered common law married. As I said, it doesn’t exist here anymore. I’m not sure about the rest of the US.
Post # 4
@AB Bride: i see it as strictly a legal term. where i live it used to be recognized, a couple years ago they did away with it.
Post # 5
While NE doesn’t have it any longer, the legal term here was Common Law Marriage. Common Law didn’t take affect unless you had lived together for 7 or more years without being married.
Post # 6
Common law marriage is a mostly outdated legal concept. The idea is that if you meet certain requirements (live together for X years, have kids, refer to yourself as married), the state will consider you married even if you didn’t do the legal marriage process. A common misconception is that, in states the recognize common law marriage, living together for X years makes you married. But both partners actually have to agree to claim they’re married for the common law marriage to be valid.
Post # 7
Exactly. In most states now, there is no legally recognized common law marriage. It’s mostly a myth… but it still does exist in some states.
Post # 8
It still exists in Texas. You can either register it or just consider yourself married if you meet 3 tests (decide to be married, live together, and present yourself as married to others). Once you meet those 3 requirements you’re common law married according to our state (and can also file income taxes jointly).
Post # 9
I guess most provinces here just don’t use the term so it seems odd. Common law relationship, common law partner, common law spouse, yes (I think spouse is pushing it though). I’ve just never heard of common law marriage til the bee. Thanks for the explanation!
Post # 10
In most states, it no longer exists. In a few, yes.
Post # 11
It could be a regional thing.
Post # 12
In a few states, common law marriage still exists, and for all intents and purposes the couple is considered to be married in the eyes of the law if they present themselves as such. This also means that instead of merely breaking up, a couple would also need to get a divorce, even though they never signed a contract to be married.
Post # 13
It still exists in the state I live in. You have to have the capacity to enter into a marriage (you have to legally be able to get married), you have to present yourself as a married couple (use the same last name, tell people you’re husband and wife, or file taxes together), and you have to consumate the marriage. I’ve actually known someone who had a common law marriage by these terms and when she and her partner”broke up” had to file for divorce even though there was no marriage certificate on file anywhere before she could get married in the more traditional way.
Post # 14
it’s not slang. its just a term it’s the same thing as “common law relationship” although I really don’t know a single person who has ever ran around saying “I’m in a common law relationship” nor “I’m in a common law marriage” people just don’t say it- but it really is an interchangeable phrase.