What is Common Law Marriage: Washington?
Common-law marriage is an uncommon type of union between husband and wife.
Only a few states in the U.S. recognize common-law marriage; those states that allow the formation attach strict requirements for validation purposes.
In general, the following requirements must be satisfied to engage in a common-law marriage: Contact Washington lawyers for legal advice and assistance.
How to get a Common Law Marriage in Washington
1. Common law marriage WA: You must ascertain if the state you are living in allows common-law marriages. Remember, only a few states—plus Washington D.C.—allow common-law marriages.
Currently, only Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, Montana, Rhode Island, Texas, South Carolina, Washington D.C., and Utah recognize common-law marriages.
2. Common law marriage WA: Typically, there four general requirements to validate a common-law marriage. The first requirement is: you and your partner must live together. Maintaining the same residence is crucial to recognize common-law marriage.
3. Common law marriage WA: Secondly, you are required to present yourselves to the public—and family and friends—as a married couple. Presenting yourselves as a couple can be achieved by using the same last name, filing joint tax returns, and/or referring to one another as wife or husband
4. Common law marriage WA: Although the time constraints are not universally defined, you and your spouse must be together for a significant period of time before securing a common-law marriage
5. Common law marriage WA: The last requirement of securing a common law marriage is that you and your spouse must intend to be married. This means that you and your spouse must go before a court of law or official and declare that you wish to be married
Although common-law marriages are not legal in every state, federal law states that every jurisdiction in the nation must recognize as valid a common-law marriage formed in another state.
Therefore, if you and your couple secure a common law marriage in another state, all jurisdictions in the U.S. must uphold the original declaration—if you travel to another state you will remain married via common law.
Can I Receive a Common Law Marriage in Washington?
Washington does not recognize common-law marriages; a common-law marriage WA does not exist.
That being said, the state will recognize a pseudo common law marriage WA if you and your prospective spouse cannot receive a common-law marriage Washington.
Because you cannot receive a common law marriage in Washington, there is no way to successfully form a common law marriage, no matter how long you live with your partner.
That being said, if you secure a common law marriage in another state—one that does recognize common law marriages—you may “hold yourself out as married.”
In this situation, if you move to the state of Washington, you formally maintain your common-law marriage. Remember all states recognize marriages that occur in other states.