Does arizona have common law marriage

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Most private entities respect name changes via mere usage. With the threat of identity theft and fraud, however, fewer and fewer companies are willing to change your name without legal documentation of your name change. When married through traditional marriage, you're given marriage records that suffice as proof of your new name.

People married via common law, however, do not have marriage records. In this case, you'll need a court order documenting your name change.

This documentation is helpful for proving to private entities, like banks, that you legally changed your name, but it is required by government entities to change things like your state issued I. Technically, there is no such thing as a common law divorce. If you are in a legally-recognized informal marriage and you wish to end the relationship, you must obtain a regular divorce just like any other ceremonially married couple.

Many spouses hire divorce attorneys, since you will need to have the court decide on things like child support and custody, spousal support, and property division. If you were married by common law and move to a state that doesn't recognize them, you'll still have to obtain a legal divorce in that state, just as if you were ceremonially married.


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This is because of the fact that all states recognize marriages from other states. When you move to another state, you're still married, and must obtain a legal divorce if you choose to end the marriage. There are several different scenarios in which state common law marriage laws will figure prominently, such as when couples move across state lines.

For instance, you may be considering a divorce but don't know whether your union is legally considered a marriage in the first place.

If you have questions about the marriage laws of your state, it's a good idea to contact an experienced family law attorney near you. Find your Lawyer Explore Resources For Learn About the Law. Legal Forms.

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Are you a Legal Professional? Popular Directory Searches. A common law marriage is a collection of legal rights similar to that of a formal marriage without the couple having registered it with a civil or religious ceremony. Other terms used to refer to such unions are informal marriage, marriage by habit and repute, and marriage in fact. Because no marriage certificate exists to show that such a union exists, each state has an elemental test that must be met to prove a common law marriage is valid.

Although each state defines and sets out these elements differently, there are commonalities that exist:. Some jurisdictions may place additional requirements on a couple claiming a common law marriage, so always check the law in your state. There are only a few jurisdictions left that fully recognize common law marriages as legal, with some only doing so for inheritance purposes. In addition, other states that formerly did recognize such marriages now no longer do so unless the union can be traced back to before the statutory cutoff date.

Can I get alimony in Arizona if I have a common law marriage?

New Hampshire only recognizes common law marriages for inheritance purposes. In addition, these states only recognize such unions if they can be traced to before the statutory cutoff date. Evidence will be needed to prove that the union started prior to these dates.

Common Law Marriage FAQs - FindLaw

In , South Carolina announced they no longer recognized common law marriages. What if you begin a common law marriage in a state that allows it but then move to a state that does not? Will the other state still recognize the marriage? In short, yes.

Common Law Marriage – a history and factors you should know

The Full Faith and Credit clause of the constitution dictates that each state has to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. This applies to marriages and common law marriages, and therefore the dissolution of these marriages. So if a couple can show a valid common law marriage established in Texas, but then the couple moves to Arizona and decides to divorce, the Arizona courts have jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage. Because common law marriages are considered the same as a licensed marriage once formed, it must go through the same legal procedures to be dissolved.

That means filing a divorce petition and all other necessary documents with the family court in your state. The process is also the same as dissolving a formal marriage, and all the same issues will need to be addressed, like child and spousal support, visitation and custody rights, property division, and any others. To avoid paying alimony or dividing certain property, one spouse can claim that no common law marriage existed in the first place.

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To combat this, the other spouse can show joint tax returns, insurance policies, joint bank accounts, retirement plans, any other property held together, and other evidence to prove the existence of the common law marriage. The judge will then take this evidence and all other facts into account in some cases witness testimony and other documents can be used to determine if the relationship was a legal common law marriage. It is also important to note that a common law marriage is treated the same as a formal marriage when it comes to bigamy laws as well.

So you must properly legally end a common law marriage before you enter into another one, either common law or formal. Getting divorced is a complex process even for those entered in formal marriages. Therefore it is doubly important that if you are looking to end a common law marriage, you seek the services of an experienced family law attorney in your state.

Ken LaMance.