Throughout the United states, the custom of adults living together in romantic relationships is becoming increasingly common. In some situations, couples live together without ever getting legally married at all. There are a large number of misunderstandings about common law marriages. One of the popular misconceptions about common law marriage is that a couple is automatically considered married if the couple has lived together for at least seven years. If you are engaged in this type of relationship or have questions about the legal nature of this type of relationship, it is a wise idea to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
Requirements for a Common Law Marriage in Georgia
The state of Georgia requires that a couple meet certain requirements before considering them to be in a common law marriage. The burden of demonstrating that the common law marriage should be recognized falls upon the individual who wishes to prove that such a marriage exists. The conditions to establish a common law marriage include the following:
- Each individual must be at least 18 years old.
- Each person must be of sound mind and appreciate the seriousness of marriage.
- Each persons must have the legal right to marry.
- Each person must not be married to another individual.
- The couple must have been living together.
Invalid Marriages in Georgia
Sometimes a marriage will be recognized as invalid by the state of Georgia. Examples of invalid marriages include:
- Parents marrying their children,
- Parents marrying their stepchildren,
- Grandparents marrying their grandchildren,
- An aunt or uncle that has married a nephew or niece,
- A marriage in which either party lacked the mental capacity to enter into marriage,
- A marriage in which either party was under the age of 16 at the time
- A marriage in which either party entered into the contract using fraud, or
Couples from Other States
In many cases, couples who are married in accordance with the common law of other states move to Georgia and are uncertain if their marriage will be recognized. In these types of situations, the Supreme Court of Georgia has stated that Georgia will recognize a common law marriage established under another state’s laws as valid.
Contact a Skilled Georgia Family Law Attorney
In short, couples must appreciates that if they met the above requirements in Georgia before January 1, 1997, there is a possibility that the couple might be considered in the eyes of the law as married even if the couple never actually obtained a license and had a ceremony. In these types of cases, couples likely need to obtain a divorce in the event that the couple wishes to dissolve their relationship. Individuals must remember that in the state of Georgia, common law marriages are still recognized. If you are wondering what steps to take concerning your common law marriage, consider retaining the service of the skilled Georgia family law attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C today by either visiting our firm online or calling the firm at 678-736-7700.