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Common Law Marriage Nebraska

Common Law Marriage Nebraska

Quick Guide to Common Law Marriage in Nebraska

Common-Law Marriage: Nebraska

Common-law marriage laws have not allowed typing of marriage to occur since 1923, and the state has specific marriage requirements.

Until recently, the court would not even consider property division settlements or other settlements often heard by a court for divorce and marriage settlements.

Now, common-law marriage laws still forbid the type of marriage, but a court may now recognize the marriage within a divorce or settlement procedure in certain circumstances because of §42-117 of the revised statutes.

These common-law marriage laws state, “All marriage contracted without this state, which would be valid by the laws of the country in which the same were contracted, shall be valid in all courts and places in this state.”

Marriage Requirements in Nebraska

Marriage requirements under the revised statutes prohibit the following types of marriages. There may be other marriage requirements depending on the situation:

• The marriage between the parties was otherwise prohibited by law—such as consanguinity

• Either party was impotent at the time of marriage

• Either party has a spouse at the time of marriage

• Either party was mentally ill or a person with mental retardation at the time of marriage

• Force or fraud

• Either party was under the age of 17 without consent from guardians and the court

As you can see, marriage requirements disallow many types of marriage, but common-law marriage laws will be recognized in certain circumstances.

Cases in which a Nebraska law on marriage will be recognized are described in the section below.

Determining the Validity of a Common-Law Marriage in Nebraska

Although there are few laws addressing common-law marriages in Nebraska 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.

In order to validate the common-law marriage in Nebraska, 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 Nebraska:

• The two parties actually cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction

• The of 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 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 NE to recognize their common-law marriage laws in an out of state jurisdiction, the two couples are usually advised to sign a power of attorney documents before thinking a common-law marriage in Nebraska will have any validity in a court hearing.

Two couples will normally establish a durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney with help of a qualified legal professional to try and have a common-law marriage in Nebraska stand.

If couples in recognized common-law marriages 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 NE 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.

Common Law Marriage Nebraska: Unraveling the Complexities and Misconceptions

The legal framework for relationships has undergone steady change over the years. Today, there are many legal options for people who want to enter into a committed relationship without getting married. As a result, more couples are choosing to live together and start families without tying the knot. One of the most popular choices for couples in Nebraska is common law marriage, which allows them to enjoy many of the benefits of marriage without having to go through a formal ceremony. In this article, we will unravel the complex issues surrounding common law marriage Nebraska, debunk common misconceptions, and provide updated information on the topic using reliable government resources.

What is a Common law marriage?

A common law marriage is a legal marriage recognized by the state, even though the couple did not obtain a marriage license or participate in a formal ceremony. In other words, if a couple has lived together for a certain amount of time and meets specific criteria, they can be considered married in the eyes of the law. Common law marriage has been around for centuries and the definition differs from state to state.

In Nebraska, the requirements for common law marriage consist of three elements, which must be met:

1. Cohabitation
2. Ability to Consent
3. Public Recognition of Marriage

1. Cohabitation

In Nebraska, cohabitation is the most important factor in determining whether a couple has a common law marriage. Cohabitation refers to the act of living together as if you were married. Living together means physically living together. Still, it can also mean sharing common resources, such as bank accounts or bills, as well as adopting a decision-making role in each other’s lives, such as the power of attorney, medical decision-making, etc.

2. Ability to Consent

The second requirement for a common law marriage in Nebraska is the ability to consent. The couple must be of legal age or emancipated minors, and neither of them can currently be married to another person. Additionally, they must be legally competent to get married, meaning they can understand the legal consequences of entering into a marriage.

3. Public Recognition of Marriage

Lastly, the couple must hold themselves out as married to the public. This public recognition can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, such as introducing each other as spouses, filing taxes jointly, and using the same last name.

Debunking Common Misconceptions About Common Law Marriage Nebraska

Misconception 1: A couple is instantly deemed married after living together for a certain amount of time

One of the most common misconceptions about common law marriage is that a couple is automatically deemed married after living together for a certain amount of time. In Nebraska, there is no set time period that automatically qualifies a couple for a common law marriage. The key is whether the couple meets all three requirements listed above.

Misconception 2: Common law marriage is the same as a domestic partnership

A domestic partnership is a legal relationship that grants many of the same rights and protections as marriage, but it is not the same as a common law marriage. Domestic partnerships are usually available to same-sex couples and couples that have registered their relationship at the capital city of Nebraska. Common law marriage, on the other hand, recognizes a couples’ relationship without the need for registration.

Misconception 3: Common law marriage is only recognized in certain states

Common law marriage is recognized in some form by most states. In fact, there are only a few states that do not recognize common law marriages at all. Nebraska is one of 16 states that recognize common law marriage.

Misconception 4: There are no legal protections for couples in common law marriage

Couples in a common law marriage have the same legal rights and protections as a married couple. This means that they can enjoy benefits such as inheritance rights, joint tax returns, and other legal protections implicit of married couples. The dissolution of common law marriage can also involve the same legal procedures as a formal divorce.

Recent Developments on the Recognition of Common Law Marriage Nebraska

The Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage has caused a shift in the way states protect and recognize non-traditional relationships. Many states have granted protections and benefits to domestic partners and unmarried couples, including those in common law marriages. Even Nebraska is considering new laws concerning this.

Currently, there is a bill in the Nebraska legislature (LB45) that would grant legal protections to common law marriage couples, including parental rights, inheritance rights, and the right to make medical decisions. This bill seeks to make it easier for couples in Nebraska to benefit from the legal protections of a marriage, without having to go through a formal ceremony.


Common law marriage offers a great alternative for couples seeking a legal recognition of their relationship without formalizing it through a ceremony or obtaining a marriage license. The requirements of common law marriage in Nebraska are specific, and the couple must meet all three. Despite prevailing misconceptions, common law marriage is a legally recognized institution in most states and provides couples with the same benefits and protections as a traditional marriage.

As more and more couples choose non-traditional ways of building their families and relationships, the issue of common law marriage will continue to be relevant. It is critical for everyone to have access to accurate information on common law marriage and the legal protections it provides. Nebraska may have a new law recognizing the common law marriage couples soon, which will bring a lot more security and peace of mind for these couples.