Common law marriage within the United States is legally recognized in:
- District of Columbia
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Common law marriage is legally recognized in five states under a grandfather clause. This means that the common law marriage must have formed prior to a certain date defined by that state:
- Georgia - union declared prior to January 1, 1997
- Idaho - union declared prior to January 1, 1996
- Ohio - union declared prior to October 10, 1991
- Oklahoma - union declared prior to November 1, 1998
- Pennsylvania - union declared prior to January 1, 2005
Common law marriage is allowed only for inheritance purposes in New Hampshire.
Finally, though a couple who has a common law marriage doesn't have a marriage license or certificate, they still must go through the legal process of obtaining a divorce in order to end their marriage.
For more information about marriage and other related topics, please check out the links on the next page.