Quick Guide to Common Law MarriageNorth Carolina
Are Common Law Marriages (North Carolina) Legal?
North Carolina law on common marriage has never been recognized within the state, but there are some common law marriages that hold validity in the state.
Common law marriages (North Carolina) have never been recognized by the state because of Chapter 51-1 of the state’s statutes.
The statute states that a marriage is created with the consent of both parties in a lawful marriage and in the presences of one party listed below:
• In the presence of an ordained minister of any religious denomination or a magistrate
• With the consequent declaration by the minister or magistrate that the parties are husband and wife
• Federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe
Other types of marriages are illegal overt than a common law marriage (North Carolina). Grounds for annulment include the following:
1. The marriage was between two people closer in relation than first cousins or double first cousins
2. Either spouse was under the age of 16 during the marriage (except in limited circumstances)
3. Either spouse had another husband or wife during the second marriage
4. Either spouse was physically impotent
5. Either spouse was mentally incompetent during the marriage
Valid Common Law Marriages (North Carolina)
Although there are few laws addressing a common-law marriage (North Carolina), a court may still 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 to validate the common law marriage (North Carolina), the court will consider several factors in certain cases like a divorce or separation proceeding.
The court will usually consider the following aspects for common law marriages (North Carolina):
• The two parties actually cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction
• The 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 to recognize their common law marriage (North Carolina) in an out-of-state jurisdiction, 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.
If couples in recognized common-law marriages (North Carolina) come to an agreement about the division of property in a future separation in an out of state jurisdiction, the state of NC may recognize such agreements.
If you are unsure the state will recognize the common law marriage (North Carolina), you should speak with an attorney to help determine if the case may be arguable in court.