Law

Can You Have Multiple Common Law Marriages at Once?

While the idea that a seven-year-old is considered married, that’s not really the case. Whether or not you and your partner are legally married can be a complex issue, and court determinations are often based on a variety of factors. For this reason, some legal experts recommend writing and tying a simple statement together to avoid any future burdens. This statement may not be legally binding, but it can offer you some protection if you do need to separate.

While this may seem like an easy answer, judges are trained to scrutinize self-serving common law marriage claims. They have to be backed by compelling evidence that the marriage is actually valid. Evidence must be compelling, convincing, and obvious. In a case like the Peery case, both parties argued that they had lived together for five years, had a joint bank account, and acted like married.

The future of the common law marriage is in doubt in Rhode Island, but the decision could be overturned by the courts. If it is upheld on appeal, the common law marriage may disappear from state law. If that’s the case, the Rhode Island Legislature may eliminate the concept in a future session. If you have more than one common law marriage, you may have several common law marriages, each based on separate legal status.

In New York, a common law marriage may be a legally valid contract between the two people. In New York, the marriage must be solemnized by a presiding officiant. This person can be a clergyman, civil official, city clerk, magistrate, or county executive. In other states, the state may recognize a common law marriage created by a common law marriage, so long as it is valid.

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