What do you mean by a common law marriage? A common law marriage is one in which both partners agree to hold themselves out as married. This may be done through joint bank accounts or by using the words “spouse” in public. Other ways to establish common law marriage are wearing wedding rings and using the same last name. However, a common law marriage cannot be formed until both partners have lived together for a certain amount of time. This period of time is not universally agreed upon.
The burden of proof lies with the person claiming a common law marriage. Generally, courts consider such claims to be self-serving. In order to be considered valid, the evidence must be clear, convincing, and consistent. In the Peery case, for instance, the parties had been living together for five years and had a joint bank account. However, the parties claimed to be married without proof.
In some states, a common law marriage does not require a marriage license, which may make it more difficult to file for divorce. However, the spouses who share a common law marriage have most legal rights and responsibilities. In such a case, the couple will need to go through a formal divorce in order to divide their assets and liabilities. During this time, they must also make decisions regarding custody and visitation.