Does Georgia Recognize Common-Law Marriage?

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The state of Georgia does not recognize common-law marriages. In truth, most states are slowly disallowing this type of union, and in the future, eventually, they will be a thing of the past. However, this does not mean common-law marriages do not exist in Georgia in some capacity. Common-law marriages created before January 1st, 1997, or those created in a different state that recognizes common-law marriages will be honored in Georgia if specific criteria are met. An attorney’s guidance is the best way to ensure you and your partner meet these requirements. Reach out to us today for assistance in determining the validity of your common-law marriage.

What Are the Requirements for Common-Law Marriage in Georgia?

In Georgia, there are four requirements for common-law marriages to be validated. These four requirements are:

The parties must have the ability to contract.

There must be a contract — in a common-law marriage, the contract is the agreement between both parties to present themselves as married in the public eye and to live together as husband and wife.

There must be a consummation of the marriage under the law.

The marriage must have been established before January 1, 1997.

These requirements are the same as traditional marriages, with the exception of needing to be created and established before a specific date. Consummation, in this sense, refers to cohabitation, although there is no set length of time necessary for the couple to have lived with one another.

What if My Common-Law Spouse and I Moved From Another State?

While Georgia does not recognize common-law marriages, it cannot ignore the laws of other states. If you and your spouse have a valid common-law marriage from another state and move to Georgia, Georgia must honor it. However, these types of unions across America are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Eventually, they will not be recognized by most if not all states in the union.

If you and your common-law spouse have moved to Georgia from another state and need help navigating the legal process of having your marriage recognized, contact us today for assistance.

Let Us Help You

If you believe you have a strong claim for common-law marriage in Georgia, your next step should be to contact an attorney. We can help you determine if you meet all the necessary criteria and then help with the procedures involved in validating your union. Or, if you have a valid common-law marriage and are considering a divorce, we can also assist you with that. Please get in touch with us at 404-738-5805 or online to book a consultation. We are here to help.

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