Legal Guides

A Complete Guide To Common Law Marriage Georgia

common law marriage Georgia

Today we talk about common law marriage Georgia.

Marriage holds emotional and legal significance. Can you picture being in a marriage where you can simply enjoy the perks, rights, and more- without a big ceremony? Many couples live together long-term. 

Their relationship resembles that of married partners. However, common law marriage allows them to do so without an official state license. Understanding your state laws will help you know the legality of your common law marriage in Georgia. Additionally, you will also know what to do if wish to terminate it.

This is what common law marriage Georgia or in any state offers to you. There are advantages and drawbacks of it, no doubt. But somehow common law marriage has acquired a very special place in the legal sphere of the US.

Today, numerous couples are in this scenario. Therefore, this guide aims to provide you answers to your questions about Common Law Marriage, with special reference to Georgia. Thus, we will talk about the couples and their legal rights in Georgia under it.

What Is Common Law Marriage In Georgia?

Now, before we get into common law marriage, let us find out what common law marriage is.

Common law marriage is something that we also call an informal marriage. These are not exactly marriages as because there are no formal procedures in them. Therefore, there is no marriage license or ceremony.

What Are Its Components?

The couple in the common law marriage have a shared intention to be a married couple. Moreover, they publicly present themselves as married when they are living together. There are a couple of other key requirements for common law marriage in the US.

Both people should be residing in a state that recognizes common law marriage.

Moreover, they will have to meet the state’s criteria for a legal common law marriage.

Under the US Constitution, states hold authority to establish marriage laws. Therefore, the existence of common law marriage select will depend on the state’s laws.

When Did Common Law Marriage End In Georgia?

Georgia previously recognized common law marriage, but this stopped on January 1, 1997. Presently, you can take the conventional route. To get the rights of a married couple, you need a marriage license and conduct a ceremony. Yes, this is a necessity for legal marriage in the state of Georgia. 

Does Georgia Recognize Them?

Well, yes, exceptions do exist. If a common law marriage existed in Georgia before January 1997, it is a legal one under the laws of Geogia. Moreover, if a common law marriage is legally established in another state, and then the couple relocated to Georgia, it will still hold the legal status.

For instance, if a couple, like Tilly and Zach, lived in Texas and had a common law marriage. Now, there common law marriage is valid. Tilly and Zach have also fulfilled the state criteria of a common law marriage.

Now, if they move to Georgia, their marriage status remains legally recognized according to Georgia law.

What Are The Rights Of A Couple In A Common Law Marriage Georgia?

Like we discussed in the previous section, common law marriage is not exactly legal. However, couples in a common law marriage in other states do enjoy certain rights.

So, once the couples meet the state criteria, their legal standing will be similar to a formal marriage. They gain rights such as inheritance, Social Security benefits, tax treatment, employment perks, and entitlement to property division.

Additionally, a couple in a common law marriage may also get alimony after their legal separation. Like formal marriages, common law couples have the same obligations. They enjoy mutual support like a married couple and own marital assets.

How Long Is Common Law Marriage In Georgia?

So, how many years do you have to live together for common law marriage in Georgia? The idea that living together for seven years creates a common law marriage is a mere myth.

States recognizing these unions don’t talk about a specific duration for couples to stay together to qualify. Regardless of how long you’ve lived together, meeting the conditions for a common law marriage is the main deal. Thus, for the states that do recognize common law marriage, meeting the requirements is enough.

There is no minimum time that you need to live together for it to be a common law marriage legally. Thus, be it a common law marriage New Jersey or common law marriage Washington, this rule remains the same.

Common law marriage isn’t as common anymore in the US. Most states stopped recognizing these kinds of marriages.

However, for the states that do recognize it, these are the requirements you need to fulfil.

To be in a common law marriage, you need to follow some rules:

– Be old enough to get married, usually 18 years old.

– Understand what getting married means.

– Not be closely related to your partner.

– Not be married to someone else.

Even if you meet these rules, you still need to prove that your relationship fits the other things needed for a common law marriage.

To Conclude

Thus, with this we reach the end to our article on Common Law Marriage. Therefore, the state of Georgia doesn’t allow new common-law marriages since January 1, 1997. Any made before then in Georgia are still recognized. If you think you had one before that date, talk to a lawyer to check if it meets all the rules.

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.

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