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Family Law

Common Law Marriage

Why do so many misunderstandings about common law marriage persist? In an age where more couples say "I don't" than "I do" to traditional marriage, this article offers some points to consider.


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Wedding bells don’t ring as frequently as they used to, according to U.S. Census data that shows the number of couples opting to cohabit rather than marry has more than doubled since the 1990s. Among these modern live-in couples who eschew formal marriage, however, there can be confusion about the legal status of their relationship. Most notably: Does living together as committed partners … buying a home together, and perhaps even raising children together … somehow trigger the protections of common law marriage?

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