Quick Guide to Common Law Marriage in Kansas
Common Law Marriages in Kansas
Kansas is one of the few states within the US that recognizes and permits common law marriage along with other marriage requirements. Kansas residents will usually declare a common law marriage if they do not want a traditional wedding ceremony under the state’s marriage requirements but still want the tax benefits of a legal marriage. Certain common law marriages in Kansas are prohibited as outlined by §23-2502 of the state’s statutes on marriage requirements:
“The state of Kansas shall not recognized a common-law marriage contract if either party to the marriage contract is under 18 years of age.”
Additionally, the state will only recognize a Kansas law on common marriage in if the two parties meet the following three elements:
1. There was intent and agreement in praesenti to be married by both parties
2. There has been continuous cohabitation between the parties
3. There is a public declaration or holding that the parties are husband and wife
Validity of Common Law Marriages (Kansas) in other States
There are few laws that address common law marriage compared to regular marriage requirements in states that don’t recognize the type of union, but there are usually two factors that will motivate another state to recognize a common law marriage in Kansas or other state that allows the marriage: the man and woman have signed power of attorney papers while in the relationship, and the marriage was contracted in a state and district that recognized such a union—such as Kansas.
In order to validate the legal common law marriage in Kansas within another state’s marriage requirements, the other state’s court will consider several factors in certain cases like a divorce or separation proceeding. The court will usually consider the following aspects for recognizing common law marriages in Kansas and within their state’s marriage requirements:
• the two parties actually cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction, such as Kansas or another state that establishes validity
• the out of state jurisdiction had established common law marriage requirements
• the date of actually declaring the common law marriage in Kansas can be established by the court
• even in common law marriages in Kansas, the court may also determine if there were any power of attorney documents signed prior to the cohabitation
If two couples want an outside state to recognize their common law marriage in Kansas, the two couples are usually advised to sign power of attorney documents. Two couples will normally establish a durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney with help of a qualified legal professional.
If couples reached former agreements before their common law marriages in Kansas (such as coming to an agreement about the division of property in a future separation in an out of state jurisdiction) another jurisdiction that normally doesn’t recognize such unions may recognize such agreements. If you are unsure whether an outside state will recognize your common law marriage in Kansas after you have moved out of state, you should speak with an attorney to help determine if the case may be arguable in court.
Even after a court has heard testimony and evidence, they may still not recognize the common law marriage in Kansas within the out-of-state jurisdiction because of their marriage requirements.