|A great deal of people believe if they live together 6 to 10 years they will be considered married in the eyes of the law, but the fact is, itís not true.
There is a difference between common law marriage and cohabitation. In some cases if you are a cohabitant, you could be considered single and in some cases if you are common law married you are considered married as if you did it the traditional way.
So the question is how do I know if I am legally married or considered single under the law. Only certain states recognize Common law marriages, including the District of Columbia, Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. If you live in a Common law situation it rests upon you to find out if your state recognizes your relationship as it does legal marriage in the law.
If your state recognizes your common law marriage, you and your mate must enter into a written or oral agreement to live as a husband and wife, and appear to others, as you are a married couple. Introduced to others as a wife or a husband and are considered a married couple. How long you have been together will determine if you are recognized under state law. At this time, for the most part Common law marriages typically are limited to heterosexual couples.
If you live in a state that recognizes common relationships and do not want the state to consider you as married, you need to see your attorney to draw up a document that establishes the facts and protects the parties involved.
About the author:
Jeffrey Broobin is a free-lance writer on family and finance issues; his main goal is to help people during their complicated period of life.
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