What is the Law on Common Law Marriage in California?
Common law marriage allows persons who live together as man and wife for a significant time and with the intent of having an exclusive relationship akin to a marriage to have the legal rights of formally married persons, including rights related to insurance and other benefits, property distribution on dissolution of the marriage, and distribution of property upon the death of one spouse. For a common law marriage to achieve validity as a marriage, the couple generally must agree to enter into a martial arrangement, must cohabit with one another, and must hold themselves out as husband and wife to others. California does not recognize common law marriages. The California Family Code states that California abolished common law marriage in 1895.