Quick Guide to Common Law Marriage in Arkansas
Common-Law Marriage: Arkansas
A common law marriage in Arkansas has never been allowed, but the state will recognize such a marriage according to some common law marriage laws dealing with foreign marriages.
The state may make exemptions for marriage requirements according to common law marriage laws under section 9-11-107 of the state’s code:
“All marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by the laws of the state or country in which the marriage was consummated and in which the parties then actually resided shall be valid in all the courts in this state.”
Marriage Requirements in Arkansas
Marriage requirements in the state prohibit certain kinds of marriages:
• One or both of the parties were too young to legally marry within the state (under the age of 16)
• One or both of the parties were unable to mentally understand the consent of the marriage and the consequences involved
• One or both of the parties were incapable of entering the marriage within the state because of physical causes
• The consent to marry was obtained through fraud
• Either party forced the other party to enter into marriage
• The marriage is incestuous
Marriage requirements prohibit many types of marriages, but common law marriage laws will be recognized in some cases if another state allows the common law marriage.
Determining the Validity of Common Law Marriages in Arkansas
Although there are few laws addressing a common law marriage in Arkansas compared to laws for marriage requirements, a court may also consider the validity of the marriage upon two conditions:
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 according to their common law marriage laws and marriage requirements.
In order to validate the common law marriage in Arkansas, the court will consider several factors in certain cases like a divorce or separation proceeding. The court will usually consider the following aspects of the common law marriage in Arkansas:
• The two parties actually cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction
• The out-state jurisdiction had established common law marriage laws and requirements
• The date of actually declaring the specific type of marriage can be established by the court
If two couples want the state of Georgia to recognize their common law marriage laws in an out of state jurisdiction, the two couples are usually advised to sign the power of attorney documents before declaring the common law marriage in Arkansas.
Two couples will normally establish a durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney with help of a qualified legal professional according to common law marriage laws and influential court cases.
If couples in a recognized common law marriage come to an agreement about the division of property along with other marriage requirements in a future separation in an out of state jurisdiction, the state of AR may recognize such agreements.
If you are unsure the state will consider the marriage requirements, you should speak with an attorney to help determine if the case may be arguable in court.