Ever wonder if you’re really married? Probably not – most people feel pretty certain about what their marital status is! Perhaps you and your partner have lived together for 10 years, calling one another “husband” and “wife”. How shocking it would be to realize that you are not actually married in the eyes of Pennsylvania law.
Most Pennsylvania residents are unsure about what common law marriage is and whether Pennsylvania law allows for it. Foremost, a person must have the capacity to be married just as one does in a regular marriage. This capacity includes being at least 18 years of age and unmarried.
Unlike the common misconception of common law marriage, a couple needs to do more than live together for a certain number of years. The couple must demonstrate a “present intent to enter into marriage,” which could be displayed in an oral or written vow. Even without the witnesses or officiate, spouses of a common law marriage can enjoy the same rights spouses of regular marriage do.
Common law marriage both exists and does not exist in Pennsylvania. Common law marriage was accepted under Pennsylvania law until January 2, 2005, when it was abolished. No one can enter into a common law marriage today, but any common law marriage established before January 2, 2005 continues to exist.
If you have any questions regarding family law, call Ross & Ross at (814) 274 – 8612. Our experienced attorneys will work hard for you. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship exists until one of our attorneys meets with you and agrees to accept you as a client.