Common Law is just a fancy name for living together
At least that is what I’ve always thought (and seems to be the social point of view for most folks I know)
Some countries (outside of the USA) it is true tho that the legal rights of being married are bestowed on a couple once they’ve lived together for a certain period of time (varies by jurisdiction… here in Ontario it is 3 Years OR have a child together, whichever comes first)
That is the case here in Canada where for the most part Common Law Married = Legally Married in the eyes of the law
What that means is one is regarded by the Government to be married when it comes to “some” rights… and not being able to be treated differently by others.
So Common Law Married = Married for things like Taxation, Health Care, Insurances etc.
So those who are living together cannot be denied rights by others (such as Employers etc)
*NOTE – The Province of Quebec doesn’t recognize Common Law Marriage, despite the fact that it is the area of Canada where Marriage is declining the most, and where most couples choose to live together without being legally married.
BUT at the same time, not the same as being actually married when it comes to things like the Breakdown of the Relationship itself… such as Division of Property, or “Spousal” Support
So with all that in the mix…
Being Legally Married by the State (and recognized by society) is quite different. Hence, why I’d say
YES… One can have a Marriage Ceremony when they make that Commitment (not a Vow Renewal… as no vows are ever taken before anyone to live Common Law… certainly not Before God or the Government)
Mr TTR and I went from Canadian Common Law to Married.
And we had a Wedding (Elopement) followed by a Back Home Reception for Friends & Family.
And we KNEW that there was a “shift” in our long term relationship with being married vs just living together. Being married means a more serious commitment, with more legal responsibilities for the two spouses (where the Government gets involved in your Legal Marriage)
And so did our Loved Ones… they were thrilled for us, and there were lots of good natured kidding about FINALLY making it legal, making an honest woman of me… and my catching a husband !!
All taken in good fun.
But ya, as someone in my life who’ve been it all…
Single – Dating – Engaged – Married – Seperated – Divorced
Single again – Dating – Common Law – Engaged… and now Married again
I can say each stage is different from the one before it and after it.
Hope this helps,
Lol, being married This Time Round… ROCKS !!