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FAQs Of Proving You Were Common Law Married

If you and your spouse have a common law marriage, you cannot simply walk away from each other to end it. You must go through a formal divorce proceeding. Before filing for divorce, you might have to prove that your marriage existed and was legal. 

Why Do You Have to Prove Your Marriage's Existence?

A common law marriage is where a couple lives together for a period of time and tells friends, family and the community that they are married, even though they have never gone through a formal ceremony or have a marriage license.

One of the main reasons you would need to prove that your common law marriage existed is that your spouse is denying it.This is necessary in helping the court decide if you and your spouse have rightful claims to assets, such as retirement plans.  In some states, even if your spouse is not denying the marriage, you still have to prove it existed and the length of the relationship. 

Since you have no actual legally binding document that states specifically when you and your spouse were joined together, you will have to present evidence to the court to prove your marriage in order to receive rightful assets. 

What Can You Use for Evidence?

Each state that allows for common law marriage has different rules on what is considered to be acceptable evidence of the relationship. However, there are some forms of evidence that can be used in every common law state. 

For instance, if you have any written agreement between you and your spouse that states that you consider yourselves to be married, this can be used. If it is notarized or has the signatures of witnesses, this can add to the credibility of your document. 

You can also present proof of ownership for purchases that you and your spouse made together. For instance, if you and your spouse bought a home and both of your names are listed on the deed, the argument could be made that you did it as a married couple. 

If you and your spouse filed taxes together, shared bank accounts, or listed each other as the beneficiary on your insurance policies, this can also help. You can also call on witnesses to testify that you and your spouse referred to each other as husband and wife. 

It is important that you try to find documentation that can help support how long you have claimed to be married. If either party is asking for alimony, the amount that could be ordered can sometimes be impacted by the length of the relationship.

A divorce attorney can help you assess the proof that you have and determine if more is needed before you file your petition for divorce.

For more information on family law, contact a firm like Reneer & Associates.

About Me

Choosing The Perfect Counsel

If you have ever been accused of a crime, then you know the absolute sinking feeling in your gut. It can be incredibly devastating to cope with the thought of living the rest of your life behind bars, which is why choosing the perfect counsel is crucial. I started thinking about who to work with a few years ago when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do, and it was scary. However, I knew that by focusing on my innocence and finding the right professional, things would be manageable. Check out this blog for great information on choosing counsel.

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