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State Laws: Common Law Marriage

Sixteen states recognize common law marriages, though several of these states have repealed their laws and only recognize these marriages entered into prior to a certain date. Unmarried cohabitants should check with the state and local laws in their jurisdictions to determine what rights may be available to them.

ALABAMA: The state recognizes common law marriages.

ALASKA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

ARIZONA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

ARKANSAS: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

CALIFORNIA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

COLORADO: The state recognizes common law marriages.

CONNECTICUT: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

DELAWARE: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

FLORIDA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

GEORGIA: The state recognizes common law marriages entered into before January 1, 1997.

HAWAII: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

IDAHO: The state recognizes common law marriages enter into before January 1, 1996.

ILLINOIS: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

INDIANA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

IOWA: The state recognizes common law marriages.

KANSAS: The state recognizes common law marriages.

KENTUCKY: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

LOUISIANA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MAINE: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MARYLAND: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MASSACHUSETTES: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MICHIGAN: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MINNESOTA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MISSISSIPPI: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MISSOURI: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

MONTANA: The state recognizes common law marriages.

NEBRASKA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

NEVADA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: The state recognizes common law marriages but only for inheritance purposes.

NEW JERSEY: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

NEW MEXICO: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

NEW YORK: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

NORTH CAROLINA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

NORTH DAKOTA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

OHIO: The state recognizes common law marriages entered into prior to October 10, 1991.

OKLAHOMA: The state recognizes common law marriages.

OREGON: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

PENNSYLVANIA: The state recognizes common law marriages.

RHODE ISLAND: The state recognizes common law marriages.

SOUTH CAROLINA: The state recognizes common law marriages.

TENNESSEE: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

TEXAS: The state recognizes common law marriages.

UTAH: The state recognizes common law marriages.

VERMONT: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

VIRGINIA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

WASHINGTON: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

WEST VIRGINIA: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

WISCONSIN: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

WYOMING: The state does not recognize common law marriages.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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