Does virginia recognise common law marriage

Common Law Marriage in Virginia

Facebook lets us stay connected with our customers, fans and friends—and now lets you review businesses. If we fell short, please tell us more so we can address your concerns. You may not create a common law marriage in the State of Virginia. The longer answer, however, is that the State of Virginia will honor common law marriages that were created in other states.

Although such marriages may be running out of popularity, the District of Columbia and nine other states still recognize and honor common law marriages. Therefore, if you or someone you know moves to Virginia after establishing such a union, the state of Virginia will recognize and uphold your common law marriage.

If you or your spouse have any questions as to if your union falls within the parameters of a recognized common law marriage in the State of Virginia, contact the lawyers at our law firm to guide you through this legal matter. A common law marriage, also called an informal marriage, is legally defined by each state that recognizes such a union.


Although each state has its own legal definition, a common law marriage is typically defined as an agreement between two people who hold themselves out to the public to be married without having any formal ceremony or marriage license. Indeed, as mentioned above, although such informal marriages cannot be created in Virginia, the state does recognize the validity of common law marriages created in other states.

Although most states do not recognize common law marriage, there are a few states that still support and legally uphold the practice. The states that common law marriage can be still be created include:.

There are many requirements that must be fulfilled to assert that you and your potential spouse qualify as being wed under a common law marriage. Issues surrounding family law are often emotional in nature. Questions of child custody and support….

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Children have two parents and, contrary to popular belief, there is no legal presumption that…. Website by:. We need your help. A "common law marriage" is one in which the parties may hold themselves out as a husband and wife, and under certain circumstances, be deemed married without a marriage license or ceremony. Virginia does not allow the creation of a "common law" marriage, a relationship in which a couple lives together but have not participated in a lawful ceremony.

Common Law Marriage Fact Sheet — Unmarried Equality

Unlike some other states, in Virginia a couple cannot acquire marital rights and responsibilities by living together for a particular period of time. You do not need legal action to end such a relationship, if it was created in Virginia. However, Virginia does recognize as valid, common law marriages created in other states if the legal requirements of those states have been met.

As a result, legal action is needed to dissolve legal "common law" marriages performed in other states and foreign countries in compliance with their licensing and ceremonial regulations. The courts are available for determining the rights of parties now living in Virginia. As long as a couple lives together as husband and wife, the question of validity of their marriage is unlikely to arise. However, for purposes of inheritance or the benefits of pension plans or social security, a valid marriage is required.

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