Saturday, January 14, 2012
From the Huffington Post:
When live-in lovers decide to call it quits, the parties' relationship is not always severed by a simple division of their furniture. If romantic partners have been cohabitating for a lengthy period of time and have commingled their assets and debts, their break-up in any jurisdiction may quickly give rise to disputes about the division of home equity, bank accounts and/or the payment of credit cards and other debts. However, when cohabitating parties end their relationship in a state which recognizes common law marriage, broken hearts are sometimes followed by a legal dispute which goes to the very heart of the matter. In divorce court, the parties' case begins with their conflicting responses to the critical question, "Are you married?"
Common law marriage is fully recognized in nine states and the District of Columbia. In seven additional states, common law marriage is only recognized for limited purposes or if the marriage arose prior to a certain date.
Read more here.