Common-law Marriage and Divorce Differ by State

Common-law Marriage and Divorce Differ by State

Additionally, New Hampshire recognizes common-law marriage but only for inheritance purposes, she said. Common-law marriage might sound like a relatively modern institution, but the practice actually dates back to antiquity. If you live in a state where common-law marriage is recognized, you will have to follow all the laws of that state to procure a divorce, just as you would with a regular marriage. If you are in a common-law marriage and move to a state that does not recognize common-law marriages, you will still have to obtain a legal divorce in that state, just as if you were ceremonially married. In New Jersey, which ended common-law marriage back in 1939, \"couples who have cohabited for a number of years come in asking for a 'common-law divorce' from their common-law marriage — only to realize that they are not married at all,\" Weinberger says.

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