Common Law Marriage in Civil Law System





Common Law Marriage in Civil Law System

            In the United States, only a few states contract common law marriage. These include Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Utah, Washington DC, Texas, South Carolina, among others. These states are under the common law system. The remaining states under the common law system do not recognize this kind of marriage (Statsky 38). All American states use the common law system, except Louisiana. Being the only state under the civil system, Louisiana does not contract common law marriage. Unlike in common law marriage, for one to be legally married in Louisiana, they must acquire a marriage licence and if possible hold a ceremony. However, all the states recognize all marriages that occurred in a different state. Therefore, if a couple had a common law marriage in their state, on moving to another state that does not contract such a marriage, their marriage remains valid (Lind 235).

In the United States, only few states allow for absentee marriage. These are California, Montano, Texas, and Colorado (Wardle and Nolan 94). In this type of marriage, the legalization process is conducted in the presence of only one of the marriage couple, either the bride or the bridegroom. Therefore, in this case, it is not possible for both the bride and the bridegroom to be in the presence of the judge. However, this is done in the presence of a valid witness. Most marriages of this kind in the in the United States are allowed for members of the military, who are deployed or live in different locations. For the legalization of this marriage, a small fee is charged, as well as the necessary paperwork.

Works Cited

Lind, Goran. “Common Law Marriage: A Legal Institution for Cohabitation: A Legal Institution

for Cohabitation.” London: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Statsky, William. “Family Law: The Essentials.” New York: Cengage Learning, 2003.

Wardle, Lynn and Nolan, Laurence. Family Law in the USA. New Jersey: Kluwer Law

International, 2011.


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