Am I Common Law Married in Oklahoma is a valid question. The consequences of whether you’re married or not are far reaching. Not only are we responsible for the medical bills of our spouse we may owe them alimony in a separation as well. The truth of the matter is that if you’re common law married and want to separate you’ll need a divorce. Oklahoma is one of eight states in the Country that still recognizes common law marriage. In order to be considered common married there are very specific requirements that must be met.
Requirements for Common Law Marriage
1. Party’s agree to be married.
2. They’re in a permanent and exclusive relationship.
4. They live together as husband and wife.
5. The couple publicly considers themselves to be husband and wife.
Each of these elements must be proven by clear and convincing evidence. If even one element is not proven, then there is no common law marriage. Evidence that demonstrate and supports common law marriage can include, but is no way limited to: joint income tax returns, joint financial accounts, jointly held assets, joint credit, joint debt, medical records, how the couple was introduced to third parties, and many other sources.
Difference Between Regular Marriage and Common Law
How does common law marriage differ from statutory marriage? In a common law marriage there is no marriage license issued by a government and no marriage certificate filed with a government. Often times there is also no formal ceremony to solemnize the marriage before witnesses
Just because a couple lives together and are in an exclusive and permanent relationship, does not mean the couple will be considered married. We always ask about common law marriage when talking to potential paternity clients because if the parties have been in a long enough relationship, have filed taxes together, they could be considered husband and wife in the court. This has two potential results on a paternity case:
It makes it easier to establish legal paternity and therefore set out custody and visitation; and
Often times couples who live together often have joint property. If the parties are common law married, then filing divorce is appropriate so that this property can be distributed. If not, the parties will have to seek return or division of joint property through separate law suit.
Common Law Divorce in Oklahoma
Am I Common Law Married in Oklahoma is a great question when it comes to divorce. It’s very important to remember, that while common law marriage exists in Oklahoma, there is no such thing as a common law divorce. Couples who hold themselves out to be husband and wife, will have to file a divorce is they choose to separate.
Other Consequences of Common Law Marriage
The issue of common law marriage also arises when talking about probate, wills and inheritance. Spouses, whether from a regular or a common law marriage, have certain rights if their partner dies. Those rights can involve ownership of the marital home and other assets your partner had when they died. They may also involve disability payments and retirement accounts at death. For this reason its extremely important to contact an Oklahoma attorney if your common law spouse dies.
Common Law Family Lawyers Near You
If you ask yourself Am I Common Law Married in Oklahoma give us a call. A common law marriage has far reaching consequences and we can help sort them out for you. Our Tulsa family attorneys help with all sorts of family law issues throughout Oklahoma. Call today and get a free consultation.