While the idea of common marriage seems very modern and recent, it has actually been around for more than a century now. It is a type of partnering arrangement that allows couples to be legally married to each other without ever holding a ceremony or buying a marriage license.
Common law and traditional marriages are quite similar as both include inheritance rights, property division, alimony, and child custody upon separation. However, there are divided opinions on whether common law marriage is better than traditional. For complete legal information on common law in ct, consult an attorney.
Is common-law marriage better than traditional marriages?
Common law and traditional marriages both have their pros and cons. However, in most cases, traditional marriages are thought to be a better option. This is mainly in cases where the couple breaks up.
Many couples think being married under common law can avoid nasty divorce proceedings. However, that is rarely the case. You will have the same kind of divorce in a common law marriage as you would have in a usual marriage.
In a typical marriage divorce, there are many disputes regarding child custody, alimony, child support, property, and debt division, etc. Common law married couples also need to go through a divorce proceeding, which includes the same disputes. Therefore, if you were hoping to escape a stressful and messy divorce, you cannot.
Another reason common law may hurt your case is for inheritance purposes. If your spouse dies without ever creating a will specifying who gets what, their family may file a petition in court for the property. They may even claim that you do not deserve their properties and assets because you two were never legally married. Therefore, the process becomes more complicated.
Another instance is filing lawsuits. If your spouse were to die in an accident caused due to someone else’s neglect, you would have a more difficult time filing a claim on their behalf. This is because you would first have to prove that you and your spouse met the requirements of a common-law marriage before you can proceed to sue. On the other hand, being married traditionally would allow you to sue immediately.
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How can a couple married under common-law protect their relationship from such problems?
If you really wish to establish a common-law marriage rather than a traditional one, you need to create legal documents showing your intent to be married. You may also need to draft wills, estate plans, and other financial documents with the help of an attorney.
Common-law marriages come with their challenges. However, they are nothing an attorney cannot resolve. An attorney can help you establish documents that protect your union and rights.