My Life, and topics that I would talk about on a radio show.

The Legal Fiction of Common Law Marriage

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During a radio-talk show appearance, a caller told me about his unfortunate brush with the legal fiction of common-law marriage. He had been living with a woman for several weeks when he came home one evening to find the woman, his TV and assorted other property missing. He called the police, who mistakenly informed him that the woman was his common-law wife and so they couldn’t help him.

What qualifies as a common-law marriage? Take your pick:

    Leaving too many clothes at your girlfriend’s house?

    Living together six months

    Living together seven years?

Chances are you picked the third answer, but all three response are equally wrong. A common misconception is that the length of cohabitation creates common-law status. This is not true.

Three elements are necessary and none relate to a time-frame. A couple must

    Live together

    Agree between themselves to be marriage

    Represent themselves as married (also called


Written by admin

October 2nd, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Legal

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