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Common Law Marriage Virginia

Common Law Marriage Virginia

Common-Law Marriages in the United States:

Common law marriages in the United States are only contracted in Washington D.C. and 10 states—common-law marriages are now impermissible in 27 states and were never formally allowed in 13 states.

For those states that allow common-law marriages, there are requirements that must be met by the couple to validate the contract. These requirements vary from state to state. With all this in mind, all states in the U.S. recognize common law marriages that are lawfully contracted in those jurisdictions that permit it.

Common-Law Marriages in Virginia:

Common law marriages in Virginia are relationships where the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife, and under special circumstances, are deemed married without a ceremony or marriage license.

The state of Virginia does not allow for the creation of a common-law marriage (common law marriages in Virginia are not recognized)—a formal relationship where a couple lives together without having to go through a lawful ceremony.

Common law marriages in Virginia (common law marriage in VA) are not recognized nor administered by any institutions in the state.

Unlike some other states in the U.S., Virginia couples—according to common law marriage in VA law–can not acquire marital rights and responsibilities by maintaining the same residence for a particular period of time.

Although common-law marriages in VA are not allowed to be created, the state will recognize common law marriages in other states. You will not need legal action to terminate such a relationship, if—and only if—it was created in Virginia.

As stated above, even though common law marriage in Virginia is not a real status, the state does not recognize—as valid—common-law marriages created in other areas or states if the legal requirements of those states have been satisfied.

Because of this, legal action—as suggested by common law marriage in VA–is required to dissolve common-law marriages in Virginia that were created outside of the state, if the respective parties are looking to re-marry.

Courts in Virginia are available for determining the rights of common law marriage couples now living in the state. Therefore, if you receive a common law marriage in another state, it will be recognized—according to Virginia law—as a common-law marriage in Virginia.

As long as a couple maintains the same residence and lives as husband and wife—according to common law marriages in VA– questions regarding the validity of their marriage are unlikely to take place.

That being said, for the purpose of inheritance and the division of assets, a valid marriage in Virginia is required under common law marriage in VA law.

Common Law Marriage Virginia: What You Need to Know

Common law marriage is a legal status that many people think exists in Virginia. However, this is a popular misconception, as Virginia does not recognise common law marriage. This article aims to provide accurate information about common law marriage in Virginia, and help clarify any confusion surrounding this topic.

What is Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage occurs when two people cohabit and live together for a certain period of time, typically seven years, and hold themselves out to the public as a married couple. This means that they act as if they are married, without actually obtaining a marriage license or having a formal marriage ceremony.

In many states in the United States, common law marriage is recognised as a legal status, meaning that the couples are entitled to the same rights and benefits as those who have been married through a formal ceremony.

However, Virginia is not one of these states. In fact, common law marriage has never been recognised as a legal status in Virginia, even if the couple has lived together for a long period of time and has held themselves out to the public as a married couple.

Why is Common Law Marriage Not Recognised in Virginia?

There are several reasons why common law marriage is not recognised in Virginia. One of the main reasons is that it is not in line with the state’s traditional views on marriage. Virginia is known for its conservative values, and many people believe that marriage should only be between one man and one woman, and that it should be formalised through a legal ceremony.

Another reason why common law marriage is not recognised in Virginia is that it can be difficult to define and regulate. Unlike formal marriages, there is no uniform set of rules and requirements that apply to common law marriages. This can make it difficult to determine when a couple is actually married, and what rights and benefits they are entitled to.

Some people believe that common law marriage should be recognised in Virginia because it allows couples to formalise their relationship without having to go through the expense and hassle of a legal ceremony. However, at this time, there is no indication that Virginia will recognise common law marriage as a legal status in the future.

What Rights Do Unmarried Couples Have in Virginia?

Just because common law marriage is not recognised in Virginia, it does not mean that unmarried couples do not have any rights. In fact, there are many laws that protect unmarried couples in Virginia, especially those who have been in a long-term relationship and have commingled their assets.

One of the main areas where unmarried couples are protected is in property rights. If a couple has purchased property together, or has taken steps to combine their assets, both parties may have a legal interest in the property, even if they are not married. This means that if the relationship ends, both parties may be entitled to a share of the property.

Another area where unmarried couples may have rights is in custody and visitation. If a couple has children together, both parties may have a legal right to custody and visitation, even if they are not married. This can be especially important if one party wishes to move out of state or wants to limit the other party’s access to the children.

In addition, unmarried couples may also be entitled to certain benefits, such as health insurance and retirement benefits. Many employers offer benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, even if they are not legally married. It is important to review employer policies and state laws to determine eligibility for these benefits.


Although common law marriage is not recognised in Virginia, there are still many legal rights and protections available to unmarried couples. By understanding the laws that apply to their relationship, and taking the necessary steps to protect their interests, unmarried couples can ensure that their relationship is protected and that they are entitled to any benefits and rights they are entitled to. It is always advisable to seek legal advice to navigate the complex legal landscape that surrounds unmarried couples in Virginia.