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.