Family Law


What states still recognize common-law marriages?

The states of Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah still recognize common-law marriages. The District of Columbia also recognizes common-law marriages. Georgia recognizes existing common-law marriages that were entered into before January 1, 1997.

In common-law marriages, if the parties reside together for a certain number of years (often seven) and hold themselves out as a married couple, then they will have a valid, common-law marriage.

In many states a couple can be considered married, even without a ceremony and a marriage license, if they live together as husband and wife for a specified number of years (

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