Quick Guide to Common Law Marriage in Michigan
Are Common Law Marriages in Michigan Legal?
The answer is yes, and no. The state has not allowed a common law marriage in Michigan to hold validity since 1957, but numerous such marriages hold validity because the spouses are old enough, or their common law marriage is recognized by another state and jurisdiction.
In order to explain common law marriages in Michigan, normal marriage violations need listed first:
• the marriage was between minors without proper consent
• there was insanity or a party was physically incapacitated to consummate
• the marriage was forced or a result of fraud
• there was bigamy involved
• the marriage was a same sex marriage
• either party has a known sexually transmitted disease and didn’t notify the spouse
• there is consanguinity involved
• the marriage was solemnized illegally by an unqualified person
Although the marriage violations listed above do not state anything about a Michigan law on marriage, the state will not recognize a common law marriage in most cases. As mentioned above, the state may recognized the common law marriage in Michigan if the couple sought such an action in another state.
Determining the Validity of Common Law Marriages in Michigan
Although there are no laws addressing common law marriages in Michigan, a court may 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.
In order validate the common law marriage in Michigan, 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 Michigan:
• the two parties actually cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction
• the out of state jurisdiction had established common law marriage requirements
• the date of actually declaring the specific type of marriage can be established by the court
• if no common law marriage laws exist within the other jurisdiction, the court must determine if there were any power of attorney documents signed prior to the cohabitation
If two couples want the state of Michigan to recognize their common law marriage in an out of state jurisdiction, the two couples are usually advised to sign power of attorney documents before declaring the common law marriage in Michigan. Two couples will normally establish a durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney with help of a qualified legal professional.
If couples in recognized common law marriages in Michigan come to an agreement about the division of property in a future separation in an out of state jurisdiction, the state of Michigan will normally recognize such agreements. However, common law marriages in Michigan will only be recognized by the court if the agreement was no meretricious, or in other words, based upon the promise of sexual relations.