How many US states recognize common law marriage?

How many US states recognize common law marriage?

To be exact, as of 2020, only eight states still allow common law marriages to be formed in them. An additional five states allow common law marriages, but only if those marriages were formed before a specific date (meaning new common law marriages are allowed).

How many states do not recognize common law marriage?

13 states
These 13 states have never permitted domestic common law marriage; but like all 50 states and the District of Columbia, they recognise all validly contracted out-of-state marriages, including validly contracted common law marriages. Outside of confederation, the Territory of Guam does not recognise common law marriage.

What do you need to be considered common law married?

What is Common Law Marriage: A Definition

  • You must live together (amount of time varies by state).
  • You both must have the legal right or “capacity to marry”. Both must be 18 years old (varies by State).
  • You both must intend to be married.
  • You both must hold yourself out to friends and family as being a married couple.

Can a common-law wife collect Social Security?

Social Security recognizes a common-law marriage if: The couple lives in a state where common-law marriage is legal, or did so when the marriage began. The couple can show Social Security that they are in such a relationship (more on that below).

Who claims the house if not married?

Who claims the house? You both must file as single if you are not legally married. (if there are any dependent children then one of you could file as head of Household). You cannot file a joint return unless/until you are married.

What states allow a common law marriage?


  • District of Columbia
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas (calls it “informal marriage”)
  • Utah
  • How many states have common law marriage?

    Common Law Marriage. In the United States, a couple can contract a common law marriage in the District of Columbia and nine states: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas. Five states have grandfathered in common law marriages contracted before a certain date: Georgia, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

    Is common law marriage recognized by the United States?

    Common law marriage is not as common as many people believe. Simply living together does not mean that you have a common law marriage. There are strict requirements that have to be met for common law marriages to be considered valid. Additionally, only a few states in the United States recognize common law marriages.

    Do common law marriage laws vary by state?

    Recognition of common law marriage continues to vary state by state. In fact, there are few countries that offer legal recognition of common-law marriages. While some states currently offer legal recognition to marriage achieved through common law, others do not. Marriage laws across the country continue to evolve.