Common Law Marriage States

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Table

Introduction

A common law marriage is a legal status that recognizes unmarried couples who have been living together for a certain period of time as a married couple. While not every state recognizes common law marriage, some states do. Eight states currently recognize common law marriages: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. There are also some states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania that used to allow common law marriages and still recognize them as valid, but they have since changed their laws. In states that recognize common law marriage, couples are considered legally married and have the same rights and responsibilities as couples who obtained a marriage license. However, the rules for establishing a common law marriage vary by state, and couples may need to meet specific requirements to be considered legally married.

Common Law Marriage by State

StateCommon Law Marriage StatusCommunity Property StatusMinimum Marriage Age ( parental consent)
ColoradoAllowed 16 Years Old
IowaAllowed 16 Years Old
KansasAllowed 15 Years Old
MontanaAllowed 16 Years Old
New HampshireAllowed 14 Years Old
South CarolinaAllowed 16 Years Old
TexasAllowedYes 17 Years Old
UtahAllowed 16 Years Old
AlaskaNot Allowed 16 Years Old
ArizonaNot AllowedYes 16 Years Old
ArkansasNot Allowed 17 Years Old
CaliforniaNot AllowedYes
ConnecticutNot Allowed 18 Years Old
DelawareNot Allowed 18 Years Old
HawaiiNot Allowed 15 Years Old
IdahoNot AllowedYes 16 Years Old
IllinoisNot Allowed 16 Years Old
KentuckyNot Allowed 18 Years Old
LouisianaNot AllowedYes 16 Years Old
MaineNot Allowed 16 Years Old
MarylandNot Allowed 16 Years Old
MassachusettsNot Allowed 18 Years Old
MichiganNot Allowed 18 Years Old
MinnesotaNot Allowed 18 Years Old
MississippiNot Allowed
MissouriNot Allowed 15 Years Old
NebraskaNot Allowed 17 Years Old
NevadaNot AllowedYes 17 Years Old
New JerseyNot Allowed 16 Years Old
New MexicoNot AllowedYes 16 Years Old
New YorkNot Allowed 18 Years Old
North CarolinaNot Allowed 16 Years Old
North DakotaNot Allowed 16 Years Old
OklahomaNot Allowed 16 Years Old
OregonNot Allowed 17 Years Old
Rhode IslandNot Allowed 18 Years Old
South DakotaNot Allowed 16 Years Old
TennesseeNot Allowed 16 Years Old
VermontNot Allowed 16 Years Old
VirginiaNot Allowed 16 Years Old
WashingtonNot AllowedYes 17 Years Old
West VirginiaNot Allowed 18 Years Old
WisconsinNot AllowedYes 16 Years Old
WyomingNot Allowed 16 Years Old
AlabamaPreviously Allowed 16 Years Old
FloridaPreviously Allowed 17 Years Old
GeorgiaPreviously Allowed 17 Years Old
IndianaPreviously Allowed 17 Years Old
OhioPreviously Allowed 17 Years Old
PennsylvaniaPreviously Allowed 18 Years Old

States That Recognize Common Law Marriage

There are currently eight states that recognize common law marriage: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Each state has its own specific rules for recognizing common law marriages. For example, in Colorado, couples must demonstrate their intent to be married and live together openly as a married couple. In Iowa, couples must intend to be married, have the capacity to enter into a marriage, and have publicly represented themselves as a married couple. In Kansas, couples must be at least 18 years old and must live together as spouses. In Montana, couples must establish that they intended to be married and have lived together in a marital relationship. In New Hampshire, couples must cohabitate and openly represent themselves as married. In South Carolina, couples must have the intent to be married and hold themselves out to the public as a married couple. In Texas, couples must agree to be married, live together as spouses, and represent themselves as married. In Utah, couples must cohabitate and present themselves as married to others.

The eight states with common law marriage are:

1. Colorado
2. Iowa
3. Kansas
4. Montana
5. New Hampshire
6. South Carolina
7. Texas
8. Utah

States That Previously Allowed Common Law Marriage

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania previously recognized common law marriage, but have since abolished the practice. However, some of these states still recognize common law marriages that were entered into prior to the date it was abolished. Couples who entered into common law marriages in these states prior to the respective cutoff dates may have the same legal rights and responsibilities as couples who obtained a marriage license.

Here is the list of states that previously allowed common law marriage:
1. Alabama
2. Florida
3. Georgia
4. Indiana
5. Ohio
6. Pennsylvania

Common Law Marriage States

Alabama

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Previously Allowed

Alabama previously allowed common law marriage.

Alaska

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Alaska is not a common law marriage state.

Arizona

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Arizona is not a common law marriage state.

Arkansas

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Arkansas is not a common law marriage state.

California

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Not Allowed

California is not a common law marriage state.

Colorado

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Allowed

Colorado is a common law marriage state.

Connecticut

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Not Allowed

Connecticut is not a common law marriage state.

Delaware

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Delaware is not a common law marriage state.

Florida

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Previously Allowed

Florida previously allowed common law marriage.

Georgia

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Previously Allowed

Georgia previously allowed common law marriage.

Hawaii

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Hawaii is not a common law marriage state.

Idaho

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Idaho is not a common law marriage state.

Illinois

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Illinois is not a common law marriage state.

Indiana

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Previously Allowed

Indiana previously allowed common law marriage.

Iowa

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Allowed

Iowa is a common law marriage state.

Kansas

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Allowed

Kansas is a common law marriage state.

Kentucky

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Kentucky is not a common law marriage state.

Louisiana

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Louisiana is not a common law marriage state.

Maine

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Maine is not a common law marriage state.

Maryland

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Maryland is not a common law marriage state.

Massachusetts

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Massachusetts is not a common law marriage state.

Michigan

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Michigan is not a common law marriage state.

Minnesota

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Minnesota is not a common law marriage state.

Mississippi

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Mississippi is not a common law marriage state.

Missouri

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Missouri is not a common law marriage state.

Montana

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Allowed

Montana is a common law marriage state.

Nebraska

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Nebraska is not a common law marriage state.

Nevada

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Nevada is not a common law marriage state.

New Hampshire

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Allowed

New Hampshire is a common law marriage state.

New Jersey

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Not Allowed

New Jersey is not a common law marriage state.

New Mexico

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

New Mexico is not a common law marriage state.

New York

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

New York is not a common law marriage state.

North Carolina

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Not Allowed

North Carolina is not a common law marriage state.

North Dakota

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Not Allowed

North Dakota is not a common law marriage state.

Ohio

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Previously Allowed

Ohio previously allowed common law marriage.

Oklahoma

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Oklahoma is not a common law marriage state.

Oregon

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Oregon is not a common law marriage state.

Pennsylvania

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Previously Allowed

Pennsylvania previously allowed common law marriage.

Rhode Island

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Rhode Island is not a common law marriage state.

South Carolina

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Allowed

South Carolina is a common law marriage state.

South Dakota

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Not Allowed

South Dakota is not a common law marriage state.

Tennessee

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Tennessee is not a common law marriage state.

Texas

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Allowed

Texas is a common law marriage state.

Utah

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Allowed

Utah is a common law marriage state.

Vermont

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Vermont is not a common law marriage state.

Virginia

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Virginia is not a common law marriage state.

Washington

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

Washington is not a common law marriage state.

West Virginia

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Common Law Marriage Status

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Not Allowed

West Virginia is not a common law marriage state.

Wisconsin

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Not Allowed

Wisconsin is not a common law marriage state.

Wyoming

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Not Allowed

Wyoming is not a common law marriage state.

FAQs

What states have common law marriage ?

Eight states currently recognize common law marriage: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

How many states have common law marriage ?

Eight states have common law marriage.

Does common law marriage still exist ?

Common law marriage has been abolished in many states, but it still exists in eight states, and in some states, prior common law marriages are still recognized as valid.

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