What States Recognize Common Law Marriages?

Read this article to find out which states recognize common law marriages.

What States Recognize Common Law Marriages?

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Some states permit "common law" marriages. These states recognize a legal relationship between two people who lived together as if they were married, and held themselves out to the world as if they were married, but never legally were married under that state's laws. This can be relevant when a person dies without a Will, if their surviving partner wants to inherit as that person's spouse under state law, but doesn't have a marriage license.

Here are the states that recognize common law marriages now, or did in the past and still will honor such marriage if a relationship began before such common law marriages were abolished by state law:

Alabama (recognized by the courts, not expressly allowed by state law)

Colorado (after September 2006)

District of Columbia

Florida (if relationship began beore 1968)

Georgia (if relationship began before 1997)

Idaho (if relationship began before 1996)

Indiana (if relationship began before 1958)

Iowa

Kansas

Montana

New Hampshire 

Ohio (if relationship began before 1991)

Oklahoma (recognized by the courts, not expressly allowed by state law)

Pennsylvannia (if relationship began before 2005)

Rhode Island (recognized by the courts, not expressly allowed by state law)

South Carolina

Texas

Utah

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