What is a Common-Law Marriage?
As a not so distant neighbor to the state of Florida, South Carolina has often mirrored Florida in a variety of ways – one of which has been their position in the legal world. Both states are considered to be some of the more diverse, and progressive areas of the South, so it does make sense why they would have such similarities. In recent news however, things in the state of South Carolina has changed their stance on one of the most controversial issues over the years, common law marriage – some would say, for the better. As the best family lawyer Miami has to offer, Steven Veinger, Esq. of Spinner Law Firm, has long been an advocate for all types of situations, and has come across her fair share of common law marriage issues.
As it currently stands, the state of Florida does not recognize common law marriages, as only about a dozen states still do. As per section 741.211 of the Florida Statutes clearly says that the state does not view such marriages as being legally valid. Thus, when you are not legally married to your partner, you could be kept from making certain financial decisions with him or her, as well as being deprived to have a say in his or her health care treatment. However, one important thing to note, according to Mr. Steven Veinger, the best family lawyer Miami has practicing, while they may not allow the practice themselves,the state of Florida does recognize common law marriages that were validated in other states – in which the law is on their side. But what exactly is a common law marriage, anyway? While most people have some idea, or at least get the gist of it – few truly know what it entails.
Marriage is one of the most common tenants of our society, and as our society has become more progressive and accepting over the years, the idea of marriage has expanded quite a bit. In many states, same-sex marriages have become legal and made it possible for same-sex couples to experience the rights and benefits that married men and women have for centuries. However, common law marriages are less about progressive and more so thought of an as a throwback to a time when the world was a lot simpler and there was far less legal involvement from the government in our everyday lives. According to the best family lawyer Miami has in practice, Steven Veinger, a common law marriage can be defined as a marriage in which the couple has lived together as ‘husband and wife’ for a long period of time, and consider themselves married, despite not having had a formal ceremony or any legal documentation that connects them as a married couple. There are a number of requirements that the couple must meet, in order to be recognized as having a common law marriage in a common law state. These requirements can differ slightly from state to state, however they generally include the following:
· The couple must live together for a length of time (varies from state to state).
· Both parties must be legally allowed and have the “capacity to marry”.
o Both parties must be 18 years or older (this number is different in some states)
o Both parties must be of sound mind and mental capacity.
o Neither can be currently married to anyone else.
· Both parties must have a desire to enter into the marriage with one another.
· Both parties must outwardly acknowledge themselves as a married couple to friends, family, and others in their lives.
o Must have the same last name.
o Must refer to one another as their “husband”, “wife”, or “spouse” in and out of the public.
o Joint bank accounts and/or credit cards.
According to Mr. Steven Veinger, the best family lawyer Miami has to offer, while the state of Florida, and now South Carolina, may not allow common law marriages – but as a resident, if you do your homework, there is a legal workaround. As a Florida resident, you and your spouse must simply have been declared into a common law marriage, and must draft documentation for the following:
· Outlining your marriage and both your intentions to be considered husband and wife.
· Outlining marital benefits, power of attorney, decision making powers, inheritance, expenses, joint finances, joint ownership and more.
For more information on family law issues, be sure to contact MR. VEINGER and his team today.