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Does Virginia Recognize Common Law Marriages?

The short answer is “No”. You may not create a common law marriage in the State of Virginia. The longer answer, however, is that the State of Virginia will honor common law marriages that were created in other states. Although such marriages may be running out of popularity, the District of Columbia and nine other states still recognize and honor common law marriages. Therefore, if you or someone you know moves to Virginia after establishing such a union, the state of Virginia will recognize and uphold your common law marriage. If you or your spouse have any questions as to if your union falls within the parameters of a recognized common law marriage in the State of Virginia, contact the lawyers at our law firm to guide you through this legal matter.

What Is s A Common Law (Informal) Marriage

A common law marriage, also called an informal marriage, is legally defined by each state that recognizes such a union. Therefore, depending upon what state your common law marriage was created in, that state’s law will determine if your union fulfilled the necessary legal requirements that lead to the creation of a common law marriage. Although each state has its own legal definition, a common law marriage is typically defined as an agreement between two people who hold themselves out to the public to be married without having any formal ceremony or marriage license. Indeed, as mentioned above, although such informal marriages cannot be created in Virginia, the state does recognize the validity of common law marriages created in other states.

States That Recognize Common Law Marriage

Although most states do not recognize common law marriage, there are a few states that still support and legally uphold the practice. The states that common law marriage can be still be created include:

  •      Alabama;
  •      Colorado;
  •      District of Columbia;
  •      Kansas;
  •      Rhode Island;
  •      South Carolina;
  •      Iowa;
  •      Montana;
  •      Utah; and
  •      Texas.

Let Us Help You Today

There are many requirements that must be fulfilled to assert that you and your potential spouse qualify as being wed under a common law marriage. If you or your potential spouse have questions regarding the validity of your common law marriage in the State of Virginia, contact the family lawyers at Shannon & Associates, P.C. to assist you in this legal matter.

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