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Common Law Marriage Vermont

Common Law Marriage Vermont

A brief guide to common law marriage in Vermont

The state of Vermont only recognizes spouses as being in a relationship if they obtain a marriage license and undergo a legally binding ceremony.

Common law marriages in Vermont are not recognized, as is the case in all but ten states and Washington D.C. If you enter into this relationship in another state, you will need to consider getting formally married if you move. Your common law marriage in VT is not valid.

There are several reasons why common law marriage in Vermont is not legally recognized. In states where this is allowed, a husband and wife must both present themselves to other people as such.

Where in other states witnesses can be called upon to validate that both partners have taken this state, such testimony still would not lead to legal recognition of common-law marriages in Vermont.

In states that recognize such arrangements, couples may jointly file their tax returns and otherwise claim all financial benefits due to married people.

However, you cannot enter into common law marriage in Vermont and will need to apply for a license. To convert common-law marriages in Vermont into a more formally recognized arrangement, both spouses will need to appear in person at their local courthouse.

American citizens age 18 and older will only need a government-issued ID to establish that they are of age to convert their common law marriage in VT.

Resident aliens will need their passport, as well as a copy of their work visa, in order to convert their common law marriage in Vermont into a formal marriage.

After a ceremony, you should retain a copy of the marriage certificate changing your common law marriage in VT into a formal union.

This document will serve as proof establishing your relationship in the event of divorce or a spouse’s death. In either case, common-law marriages in Vermont are not recognized. A certificate will be the basis of any legal action taken relating to a relationship more formal than a common law marriage in VT.

If you move from another state and do not wish to formalize your common law marriage in VT, it is still possible to ensure they will automatically inherit your estate in the event of your death.

Even if your common law marriage in Vermont will not be recognized, you can create a will detailing how you wish for assets and estate to be divided. By creating a will whose language is clear and legally correct, you can help avoid having your estate litigated over in probate court.

In doing so, you will make it irrelevant whether common-law marriages in Vermont are recognized.

When moving from a state which recognizes this marriage, think about what action best suits you. Some people will not be concerned about losing recognition of their common law marriage in Vermont.

For others, it may be necessary to think about getting changing a common law marriage in VT to a formal relationship for financial reasons, to maintain joint health insurance, or for other reasons.

You must decide whether common-law marriages in Vermont should be converted into a formal marriage with a ceremony. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact Vermont lawyers.

Common Law Marriage in Vermont: A Look into the Legalities and Realities

Marriage is an institution that is deeply ingrained in our society. The idea of love and commitment between two people is something that we celebrate and hold dear. But in the state of Vermont, there is something called common law marriage that challenges our preconceived notions of what a marriage is supposed to be. This article will explore what common law marriage is in Vermont, how it works, and what legal rights and responsibilities come with it.

What is Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage is the idea that a couple can establish a legal marriage by merely living together and holding themselves out to the public as a married couple. This is different from a traditional marriage where a couple obtains a marriage license and has a ceremony performed by an authorized officiant. Common law marriage is recognized in only a handful of states, and Vermont is one of them.

In Vermont, common law marriage is known as “marriage by habit and repute.” What this means is that if a couple lives together in a marital-like relationship and holds themselves out to their community as being married for a certain period of time, then they are legally deemed to be married. The length of time required to establish a common law marriage varies from state to state, but in Vermont, it is typically three years.

How Does Common Law Marriage Work?

Common law marriage does not require a ceremony or a marriage license. All that is needed is for the couple to live together and hold themselves out as being married. This means that they must act as if they are married, share a home, finances, and even a last name. They must also file taxes jointly and present themselves as a married couple to their family and community.

Establishing a common law marriage in Vermont is not a straightforward process. It requires evidence of cohabitation, joint finances, and other conduct consistent with being married. If there is a dispute about whether a common law marriage exists, the court will look at a variety of factors such as the length of time the couple lived together, how they presented themselves to the community, and whether they filed taxes jointly.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Common Law Marriage

Once a couple has established a common law marriage, they have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a traditional married couple. This includes property rights, pension benefits, and the ability to inherit from each other in the absence of a will. Additionally, if a common law marriage breaks down, the couple will have to go through the same legal process as a traditional divorce to divide their property and liabilities.

While common law marriage may seem like a good alternative for those who are unwilling or unable to obtain a traditional marriage license, it has its drawbacks. What may have started off as a simple arrangement can become complicated if the couple decides to separate. The court will require detailed evidence of the couple’s relationship to determine whether a common law marriage exists and then will divide their property accordingly.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the U.S towards recognizing same-sex marriage. Vermont became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage through legislation in 2000. Same-sex couples in Vermont have the same right to establish a common law marriage as heterosexual couples.

Recent Developments

In 2017, the Vermont Supreme Court issued a ruling clarifying the requirements for establishing a common law marriage. In a case called In re Estate of Solomon, the court held that “habit and repute” requires the couple to have agreed to be married. This means that the couple must have had a mutual understanding and an intent to be married, in addition to living together and presenting themselves as married.

The court’s decision has made it harder for couples to establish a common law marriage in Vermont. It requires a higher level of evidence than merely cohabiting and holding themselves out as married. The couple must now show that they had an actual agreement to be married, which is a more subjective standard and can be difficult to prove.


Common law marriage is a unique and controversial aspect of the legal system in Vermont. It provides an alternative way for couples to establish a legal relationship without going through the traditional marriage process. While it may seem like an attractive option, couples should be aware of the legal difficulties that can arise if the relationship breaks down. With the recent ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court, establishing a common law marriage in Vermont has become more challenging than ever before. However, for those who are able to meet the rigorous requirements, common law marriage in Vermont remains a viable option for establishing a legal relationship.