Tulsa Lawyer Explains Oklahoma Common Law Marriage

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Oklahoma Common Law Marriage has been recognized in the State for over 100 years.  It is a long-held tradition to uphold in the courts, if a common law marriage actually exists.  So, for instance if you question whether or not you are participating in a common law marriage, then this article will answer some of those questions for you.  Read on to learn what a “common law marriage” means and what you must do to be in one.

Oklahoma Common Law Marriage Requirements

If you have questions about whether you are in a common law marriage, these are some of the factors that must be present for it to be true in Oklahoma.

  1. Reputation as husband and wife in the community. If you are known in the community as a couple, and have been for many years this could fulfill this element.  However, if the questioning runs even deeper among the community where some people do not know if you are in a marriage or not, then you meet the reputation element.
  2. Cohabitation/Cohabitation as Spouses. Living in the same house, apartment, dwelling is cohabitation.  Oftentimes, couples will live together and function as a married couple.  They will work in the same type of partnership by sharing bank accounts, having children, and even putting each other on insurance policies if possible.
  3. Declarations as Spouses. In this case, declarations may take many forms.  One is the intention to marry.  Another would be the use of terms such as “wife” or “husband” to describe each other.  This can also include slang terms like “wifey”, “hubby”, etc.  Essentially, if you hold yourself out to be spouses, or do not correct someone when they mention your partner as “your spouse” then you are making declarations.

You may be interested: Tulsa divorce attorneys and why people get divorced

Rights in Common Law Marriage

Common Law marriages come with certain rights.  First, they afford similar rights to an official marriage.  This can be rights to benefits, inheritances, and certain medical visitation rights.  Further, if the common law marriage dissolves, then alimony and certain estate rights are available to the separating parties.  These are available though, only if you can show clear and convincing evidence of the elements above.

Legal Support in Common Law Marriage

If you have legal questions about common law marriage and/or dissolution of a common law marriage, our family law attorneys can help.  We have years of experience working through Oklahoma’s matrimony system. As a result, our lawyers will effectively navigate the system for you and work to make your goals reality.  First consultation is free. Tulsa common law information at 918.743.2233

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