When same sex couples live together, why is it never considered common law Marriage?
In some states Common law marriage is a legally recognized marriage between a man and woman who have not purchased a marriage license or had their marriage solemnized by a ceremony. But I have not heard of same sex couples being common law wed.
Also if Common law married couples separate for a few years, is that considered a Common Law Divorce?
Common law marriages must be formalized before they have any merit. If the two parties wish to be contractually married, they must file with the government agency that licenses such unions.
After that is done, then and only then can the parties sue for divorce, file for tax benefits, and whatever else that married couples are legally granted to do.
Before their "common law marriage" is filed with the government, they are still just living together without benefit of recognized legal status.
So, it doesn't matter who you live with, you are not "married" to them until you file for legal recognition of marriage.
Here is New Zealand for the last seven or eight years we have had a thing called a 'civil union' where people who aren't religious or don't want any form of religious ceremony but still want a ceremony (besides a registry office wedding that is still a 'marriage' ceremony) can have a 'civil union' with a celebrant and guests etc that is legally regarded as a "Marriage"
Many same sex couples take this route here as they can have all the trappings of the conventional ceremony but not necessarily in Churches (churches have the choice whether they will choose to perform such ceremonies)
As for 'common law' marriages over here most people don't talk about being married or not, they often refer to their beloved as their partner and you just don't know if they are married, civil union or common law because in the eyes of the law after three years they are all the same!
Personally My wife and I are a little old fashioned in that we like to refer to ourselves as a husband and wife but that is a personal choice and we respect others choice to want to talk of their beloved as a 'partner'
SCOTUS just recently declared same-sex marriage legal. This would have had to be in effect for a "common law" marriage ( an actual misnomer in the literal sense) to be valid (in States where it IS valid)....
Your 2nd question: No, if common law couples separate for any amount of time, it would NOT be "considered a common-law divorce."
Any couple who had reached the length of time to be considered "common law" ( In States where accepted) are considered simply THAT, "Common Law". (in terms of legal issues)....not "married" with license, State-registrations etal.
In common law, there are no official documents to change nor "union" /legal binding contract needing dissolution.
Their separation is considered a plain old simple "split" or "break-up."
I hope I explained this for you w/o confusing you, Shyron. Sorry if I didn't.
Paula, I am so happy to see you, Thanks for the comment.
No you did not confuse me and I understand exactly what you are saying.
Thank you for your answer, this is what I thought, but was not sure.
Blessings and hugs my dear friend.
Actually, I always base things on my little Tri-State area NY-PA-OH~~as Au fait said, "every State is different" & I believe MOST don't even recognize common law. I can't see why not, really. BUT that's the way it goes.
Very few states recognize common law marriage. I would say easily fewer than 20.
"State" directed laws are difficult to FOLLOW (as they change) but I much prefer that our entire Country not be identical in all ways! It's only fair & right to have options.
Same sex marriage was not legal until recently. If it isn't legal to begin with it can't be legal under nontraditional circumstances either.
Common law marriage is only legal in a few states. Every state that recognizes it sets their requirements for establishing a common law marriage.
Divorce for common law marriages varies from state to state also, as you might imagine. My advice would be for anyone contemplating a common law marriage to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the state where they will live and to keep informed about the requirements as they can change.
Further, if a person moves to a different state, they will want to learn the requirements in that new state assuming common law marriage is recognized at all, to make sure their marriage isn't dissolved simply by moving.
It's possible that those states that do recognize common-law traditional marriages will also now accept common-law same sex marriages. I would not take for granted that they will. I would check with the authorities in that state to be sure I knew the laws.
Anyone who wants to establish a common law marriage should make sure they know the requirements of the state they're living in and keep up with those requirements. Also learn new requirements if they move. That is the only way to avoid ugly surprises.
Au fait, thank you for the comment and answering this question. I don't think people who enter into a relationship necessarily think of it as being common law, especially at the beginning.
Thanks for the great answer, I can see that you researched.
Actually I've had a common law marriage and having been married to a lawyer for almost 19 years, working beside him for many of them, I have reason to know these things.
A F...In Texas, must a common law be "registered" w/ the jurisdiction to be legitimate? NY does not recognize Com. law, OH requires only agrmt~ , time & public acknowlgmnt..sort of crzy...PA is even different than both. Thanks!
Yes, Texas requires a document be signed by both parties and registered with the county. That is a fairly recent law. Less than 10 years old.
NY abandoned common law in the '30's. The Ohio common law is interesting. My friend lives there (I did also for 2 yrs) & we talked about this at length for some reason. This is why I remember.
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