Quick Guide to Common Law Marriage in Nebraska
Common Law Marriage: Nebraska
Common-law marriage laws have not allowed to type 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 in 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 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 out 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 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.