Quick Guide to Common Law Marriage in IA
Common-Law Marriages in Iowa
Iowa is one of the few states within the US that permits common law marriage.
IA residents will usually declare common-law marriages in Iowa if they do not want a traditional wedding ceremony but still want the tax benefits of a legal marriage.
The majority of the information in this section about Iowa law common marriages in Iowa can be a reference within Iowa Code 595.11.
The state will only recognize a common law marriage in Iowa if the two parties meet the following three elements:
1. There were intent and agreement in praesenti to be married by both parties
2. There has been continuous cohabitation between the parties before the common law marriage in IA
3. There is a public declaration or holding that the parties are husband and wife
The validity of Common Law Marriages (Iowa) in other States
There are few laws that address common law marriage 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 Iowa or another 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 that recognized such a union—like common-law marriages in Iowa.
In order to validate the legal common law marriage in Iowa within another state, 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 Iowa and within their state:
• The two parties actually cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction, such as Iowa
• The of state jurisdiction had established common law marriage requirements, such as laws for a common-law marriage in IA
• The date of actually declaring the common law marriage in Iowa can be established by the court
• Even in common-law marriages in Iowa, 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 Iowa, the two couples are usually advised to sign the 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 to help establish the common law marriage in IA.
If couples reached former agreements before their common-law marriages in Iowa (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 Iowa 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 Iowa within the out-of-state jurisdiction. Before declaring a common law marriage in IA, know the risks and benefits before you go ahead with the union.