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Determining whether a common-law marriage exists

When a long-term relationship comes to an end, the assets the couple shares often need to be divided. This is true regardless of the whether the couple was ever married. While some items are easy to divide, if a couple that has a common-law marriage, the matter may be complicated.

Before the assets can be divided, however, it must first be established that the couple does in fact have a common-law marriage. There is not a specific test that can be applied to determine this, rather many factors go into making this determination. Factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • Residency arrangements
  • Sexual relationships
  • Financial relationships
  • The existence of children
  • The roles that parties to the relationship play

Many of the same matters that need to be addressed in a divorce must be resolved in the case of common-law marriage as well—such as the division of assets, and estate rights. Readers may be surprised to learn however, that the approach taken is different. These differences often make it necessary to be able to come up with solutions that are creative, in order for all parties involved to feel good about the outcome.

There is no question that ending a relationship is stressful on many different levels. Being able to get through that stress is a key part of securing the best possible outcome. A family law lawyer can often help with this. Our law firm understands the complexities tied to establishing the existence of a common-law marriage. To learn more about the services we offer, please see our website.

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