There is a common misunderstanding when it comes to common law marriage in Arizona. Many people believe that if you cohabitate with a romantic partner for a certain amount of time, you are considered married. However, that is not true in Arizona.
Arizona does not recognize common law marriage in any form. As such, cohabitating in Arizona will not create any presumption of marriage and cohabitating couples that are ending their relationship will not be able to use the Arizona divorce/family law process to assist them with dividing property.
There are a handful of states that do recognize common law marriage and each state has its own set of requirements to form a common law marriage. There are also a few states that recognize common law marriages that were formed or started before common law marriage was abolished.
The states that do recognize some form of common law marriage are:
Colorado: Common law marriage contracted on or after Sept. 1, 2006, is valid if, at the time the marriage was entered into, both parties are 18 years or older, and the marriage is not prohibited by other law (Colo. Stat. §14-2-109.5)
Iowa: Common law marriage for purposes of the Support of Dependents Chapter (Iowa Code §252A.3) Otherwise it is not explicitly prohibited (Iowa Code §595.1A)
Kansas: Common law marriage will be recognized if the parties are 18 or older and for purposes of the Divorce and Maintenance Article, proof of common law marriage is allowed as evidence of marriage of the parties (Kan. Stat. §23-2502; Kan. Stat. §23-2714)
Montana: Not strictly prohibited, they are not invalidated by the Marriage Chapter (Mont. Stat. §40-1-403)
New Hampshire: Common Law Marriage means “persons cohabiting and acknowledging each other as husband and wife, and generally reputed to be such, for the period of 3 years, and until the decease of one of them, shall thereafter be deemed to have been legally married.” (N.H. Stat. §457:39)
South Carolina: allows for marriages without a valid license (S.C. Stat. §20-1-360)
Texas: Common Law Marriage in specific circumstances (Tex. Family Law §1.101; Tex. Family Law §2.401-2.402)
Utah: Utah Stat. §30-1-4.5
The states that recognize common law marriages that were created before a certain date are:
Pennsylvania: No common law contracted after Jan. 1, 2005 (Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 23, § 1103)
Ohio: No common law marriage if entered into on or after Oct. 10, 1991 (Ohio Stat § 3105.12)
Indiana: No common law marriage if entered after Jan. 1, 1958 (Ind. Code §31-11-8-5)
Georgia: No common law marriage after Jan. 1, 1997, however, common law marriages entered into prior to that date will be recognized by the state. (Ga. Stat. § 19-3-1.1)
Florida: No common law marriage entered into after Jan. 1, 1968 (Fla. Stat. § 741.211)
Alabama: No common law marriage after Jan. 1, 2017. However, common law marriages entered into prior to that date will be recognized by the state. (Ala. Code § 30-1-20).
If you are seeking help with a divorce case or a cohabitation issue, Anthem Law can help. Call us at (623) 526-5597 to set up a free 30-minute consultation.
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