Is a common law marriage legal in the state of Louisiana?

05/11/2007 - Category:Marriage - Common Law Marriage - State: LA #4523

Full Question:

Is a common law marriage legal in the state of Louisiana?

Answer:

A common law marriage was generally recognized if a man and woman held themselves out as married, lived together, had intercourse and did these things over a certain period of time. In the past all or virtually all states recognized this type of marriage.

Most states do not recongize this type of marriage today. For the states that do recognize common law marriage, the above factors may apply but other factors are also sometimes required such as capacity to marry and clear representation to others that they consider themselved husband and wife.

If a valid common law marriage is established in a state that recognizes it, the marriage is generally valid in all states. A divorce is required to end a valid common law marriage. Once established, the parties to a common law marriage have the same rights and obligations as a non-common law marriage, such as inheritance. It is not required that the woman use the last name of her common law husband but it is evidence of their intent.

States which recognize common law marriages and general requirements are below. Please note that the requirements listed are not all inclusive and case or statutory law should be consulted for more detailed information.

Alabama:

The requirements for a common-law marriage are:
(1) capacity;
(2) an agreement to be husband and wife; and
(3) consummation of the marital relationship.

Colorado:

A common-law marriage may be established by proving cohabitation and a reputation of being married.

Iowa:

The requirements for a common-law marriage are:
(1) intent and agreement to be married;
(2) continuous cohabitation; and
(3) public declarations that the parties are husband and wife.

Kansas:

For a man and woman to form a common-law marriage, they must:
(1) have the mental capacity to marry;
(2) agree to be married at the present time; and
(3) represent to the public that they are married.

Montana:

The requirements for a common-law marriage are:
(1) capacity to consent to the marriage;
(2) an agreement to be married;
(3) cohabitation; and
(4) a reputation of being married.

New Hampshire.

This state recognizes common law marriages only upon the death of one of the spouses. In other words, common law marriages are recognized in New Hampshire for inheritance purposes only.

Oklahoma:

To establish a common-law marriage, a man and woman must
(1) be competent;
(2) agree to enter into a marriage relationship; and
(3) cohabit.

Pennsylvania:

A common-law marriage may be established if a man and woman exchange words that indicate that they intend to be married at the present time.

Rhode Island:

The requirements for a common-law marriage are:
(1) serious intent to be married and
(2) conduct that leads to a reasonable belief in the community that the man and woman are married.

South Carolina:

A common-law marriage is established if a man and woman intend for others to believe they are married.

Texas:

A man and woman who want to establish a common-law marriage must sign a form provided by the county clerk. In addition, they must
(1) agree to be married,
(2) cohabit, and
(3) represent to others that they are married.

Utah:

For a common-law marriage, a man and woman must
(1) be capable of giving consent and getting married;
(2) cohabit; and
(3) have a reputation of being husband and wife.

Washington, D.C.:

The requirements for a common-law marriage are:
(1) an express, present intent to D.C. be married and
(2) cohabitation.


Please see the information at the following links: Please see the forms at the following links:

05/11/2007 - Category: Common Law Marriage - State: LA #4523

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