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Common Law Marriage New Mexico

Common Law Marriage New Mexico

Quick Guide to Common-Law Marriage in NM

Common-law marriage laws in New Mexico do not allow recognition of the type of marriage.

Common-law marriage in New Mexico was never recognized by the state, and until recently, the court would not even consider property division settlements or other settlements often heard by a court for recognized divorce and marriage requirements within a New Mexico law on marriage.

Now, common-law marriage laws within the state still forbid a common-law marriage in NM, but a court may now recognize the validity of the type of marriage if the union was formed within another state in certain circumstances.

Marriage Requirements in New Mexico

Marriage requirements are located within Article 1 of Chapter 40 of the New Mexico revised statutes. According to marriage requirements under 40-1-1, parties must give full consent to the marriage in New Mexico. Additionally, several other sections discuss marriage requirements and void marriages that are listed below:

• Either party was under the age of 18 and failed to receive consent from legal guardians

• Either party is under the age of 16, but a court in New Mexico may support the marriage in legal proceedings if the female is pregnant

• All marriages between children

• Between grandparents and grandchildren in all degrees

• Between half brothers and sisters or of full blood

• Between uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews

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

Cases in which a common-law marriage in New Mexico will be recognized are described in the section below, and §40-1-4 states that all marriage requirements recognized by other states will hold validity in the state of New Mexico.

The validity of a Common-Law Marriage in New Mexico

Although there are few laws addressing a common-law marriage in New Mexico compared to laws for marriage requirements in other states, a court may also consider the validity of the common-law marriage in NM upon two conditions in a divorce proceeding:

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 New Mexico, 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 New Mexico:

• 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 a recognized common-law marriage in NM that was formed 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 New Mexico.

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 New Mexico stand.

If couples 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 may recognize such agreements in a common-law marriage in NM and common-law marriage laws.

If you are unsure the state will consider the marriage requirements, you should speak with an attorney to help determine if the common-law marriage in NM will hold validity.


When people think of marriage, they often picture a fancy ceremony with a white dress, a tuxedo, and an officiant leading the newlyweds through their vows. But what about those couples who choose to forego the bells and whistles and simply live together as partners instead? In many states, including New Mexico, these couples may still be considered legally married by something called “”common law marriage.””

What is Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage, also known as informal marriage, is a legal system in which a couple is considered married without obtaining a formal marriage license or going through a ceremony. Instead, the couple simply lives together, presents themselves in public as a married couple, and meets certain state-specific requirements. In New Mexico, those requirements include:

– Both partners must be over the age of 18
– The couple must have mutually agreed to be married
– Both partners must have the capacity to consent to the marriage
– The couple must live together as husband and wife
– The couple must present themselves as married to others

It’s important to note that simply living together as a couple does not automatically create a common law marriage. The couple must meet all of the requirements listed above.

Benefits of Common Law Marriage

One of the biggest benefits of common law marriage is that it allows couples to obtain the legal benefits of marriage without going through a formal ceremony or obtaining a marriage license. These benefits include:

– Legal recognition of the relationship, which can be important for things like inheritance, property rights, and immigration
– Access to health insurance and other benefits through a partner’s employer
– The ability to file joint tax returns, which can lead to lower overall taxes
– The ability to make medical decisions on behalf of a partner who is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves

Common law marriage can also be beneficial for couples who cannot legally marry in their state due to restrictions based on things like sexual orientation or age. In these cases, common law marriage may offer a legal workaround that allows the couple to obtain many of the same benefits as traditional marriage.

Common Law Marriage in New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the few states in the U.S. that recognizes common law marriage. The state’s laws regarding common law marriage are outlined in the New Mexico Statutes, Section 40-1-4. According to this section, a common law marriage is established when a man and a woman, who are otherwise eligible to be married, agree to be married and live together as husband and wife.

It’s important to note that the New Mexico statute only recognizes common law marriage between a man and a woman. Same-sex couples are not eligible to establish a common law marriage in New Mexico, although they may be able to receive some recognition of their relationship through other legal means such as domestic partnership or civil union.

Proving Common Law Marriage in New Mexico

Proving a common law marriage in New Mexico can be difficult, as the state does not provide a lot of guidance on the topic. However, there are several factors that can help establish that a common law marriage exists. These include:

Evidence of a mutual agreement to be married – this can include things like joint bank accounts, shared bills, and signed documents stating that the partners consider themselves married

Evidence of the couple presenting themselves as married to others – this can include things like introducing each other as husband and wife, wearing wedding rings, and filing taxes jointly

Evidence of the couple living together as husband and wife – this can include things like sharing a home, sharing household duties, and having sexual relations

If a couple is unable to prove that they have a common law marriage, they may need to go through a formal marriage ceremony or obtain a marriage license in order to obtain legal recognition of their relationship.

Cohabitation Agreements

Couples who choose not to go through a formal marriage ceremony but still want to protect their rights and ensure that their relationship is legally recognized may want to consider a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that establishes the terms of a couple’s living arrangement, including how property will be divided in the event of a breakup or death.

Cohabitation agreements can cover a wide range of topics, including:

– How property will be divided in the event of a breakup or death
– How household expenses will be divided
– Whether or not the couple will have joint bank accounts or credit cards
– Whether or not one partner will support the other in the event of disability or illness
– How disputes will be resolved

Cohabitation agreements can be especially useful for couples who have accumulated significant assets together or have children from previous relationships that they want to protect.


Common law marriage is a legal concept that allows couples to establish a marital relationship without going through a formal wedding ceremony or obtaining a marriage license. In New Mexico, common law marriage is recognized by law, but only between a man and a woman. Couples who choose not to go through a formal marriage ceremony also have the option of creating a cohabitation agreement that establishes their legal rights and responsibilities. As more and more couples choose to live together as partners instead of getting married, the concept of common law marriage is likely to become even more important in the years ahead.