Does pennsylvania recognize common law marriage

A couple cannot acquire marital rights and responsibilities by living together for a particular period of time or holding themselves out as spouses.

Legal action is not required to dissolve such a relationship. However, Maryland does recognize as valid, common law marriages created outside of Maryland if the legal requirements of the other jurisdiction have been met. A couple believing themselves to have a common law marriage may be required to prove that their marriage is valid.

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This is likely to arise in a divorce or upon the death of either spouse to claim an inheritance, survivor benefits from retirement, or social security. Determining whether you have a valid common law marriage can be complex, and you should consult with an attorney.

Only a few U. Some states, such as Georgia, Idaho, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, only allow common law marriages formed before a certain date.


New Hampshire only recognizes common law marriages for inheritance purposes. Utah only recognizes common law marriages after they are validated by a court or administrative order.

Common Law Marriage vs. Traditional Marriage

In some states, common law marriage is permitted only for specific purposes. For example, Iowa acknowledges common law marriage simply for the support of dependents. In New Hampshire, common law marriages are recognized just for probate purposes.

Common Law Marriage in PA | Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC

Several states previously recognized common law marriage. While these states no longer accept new common-law marriages, marriages that previously entered before common law marriage was abolished are recognized.


Thirteen states have never allowed common law marriage. However, common-law marriages contracted from other states are recognized in these states.

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Those 13 states are:. State Pop. Common Law Marriage States by Population