Is Common Law Marriage Recognized in Georgia? Exploring the Legalities in the State

Common law marriage is a term used to describe a marriage that has not gone through the formalities of a traditional wedding ceremony, but the couple lives together and holds themselves out as being married. In some states, common law marriage is recognized as a legal union, while in others it is not. In this article, we will explore the legalities of common law marriage in the state of Georgia.

What Is Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage is a legal marriage between two individuals who have not obtained a marriage license or had a formal ceremony. In order to be considered common law married, the couple must live together, present themselves to others as a married couple, and intend to be married.

Is Georgia a Common Law State?

Georgia does not recognize common law marriage. According to the state’s law, in order for a marriage to be valid, it must be entered into by obtaining a marriage license and having a ceremony performed by a qualified officiant. Therefore, common law marriage is not legal in Georgia.

What Are Georgia’s Common Law Marriage Requirements?

The parties must have the ability to contract

In Georgia, the parties entering into a marriage must have the legal capacity to enter into a contract. This means they must be of sound mind and legal age.

There must actually be a contract

For a common law marriage to be valid, there must be an actual agreement between the parties to be married. This can be shown through their actions and behavior towards each other.

There must be consummation of the marriage under the law

In a common law marriage, the couple must also engage in sexual intercourse, which is considered to be the consummation of the marriage under the law.

The marriage must have been established before January 1, 1997

For common law marriage to be recognized in Georgia, it must have been established before January 1, 1997, when the state stopped recognizing common law marriage.

How Do You End a Common Law Marriage?

To end a common law marriage in Georgia, the couple must go through the same process as a traditional divorce. They must file a petition for divorce with the court and go through the legal process of dividing assets and debts.

Do You Need an Attorney to End a Common Law Marriage?

It is recommended to seek the help of an attorney when ending a common law marriage, as the legal process can be complex and it is important to ensure that all aspects of the marriage are properly dissolved.

Common Law Marriage vs. Domestic Partnerships

It is important to note that common law marriage is different from domestic partnerships. Domestic partnerships are a legal status that some states offer to couples who live together and meet certain criteria, but do not want to get married. In Georgia, domestic partnerships are not recognized.

See More Domestic Partnership Articles & Guides

If you are interested in learning more about domestic partnerships and other related topics, be sure to check out our other articles and guides on the subject.

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