That is of course not the only instance it has happened but the case called " Marriage of Smyklo " was a published appellate court ruling and an important decision that verified the difference between an invalid, common law marriage in California and a valid common law marriage outside California that was recognized in this State. Let's assume in a hypothetical situation there was never any common law marriage but the man and woman in California have joint bank accounts here, commingle their earnings, jointly pay debts or even hold property together in California.

As a starting point, consider asking the following questions:. These are just the starting questions for which you may need answers when you have a private consultation with an attorney. Wills, trusts and estate planning concerns come up in such situations and, regardless of whether the man and woman are married, if they have children together, there will be child custody and child support issues pursuant to California's paternity laws.

There may be domestic partnership laws in play and that is also beyond the scope of this article. Whether or not there is a proper common law marriage that should be recognized in California in your particular case is something you should talk to an attorney about in a private consultation and hire to get legal advice. You should also ask the attorney you hire what other rights you may have outside of the common law marriage issue.

A person facing such claims who has taken the position that there is no valid marriage and intends to advocate the Court cannot rule in favor of a common law marriage in the California case, must also be vigilant in his or her defense of the issues.

Once again, the experience of an attorney you hire who handles such matters and who can assess your case's specific facts before you plan out what position you can take in the case and your chances of success is important. At this time, our law firm is not taking on any cases that involve issues of common law marriage. When that changes, we will make an announcement about it in this article.

Also, obviously, please do not leave requests for legal advice or questions in the comment section. Legal advice and answers to questions should come from a private consultation with an attorney. We hope you enjoyed this article and the general information provided about California common law marriage issues.

States That Recognize Common Law Marriage

Check back with us often for additional interesting articles. Yes and No. Why is that? California may recognize a common law marriage in limited situations The knee jerk statement that others advocate, "California does not recognize common law marriages under any circumstance" may not be entirely correct.

Palimony in California

Has a California common law marriage been recognized in a published CA appellate court decision? What may happen if there is no valid common law marriage but the man and woman still own assets together in California? As a starting point, consider asking the following questions: Does the joint account give an equal right to the money within the account? Are either the man or woman listed as an alternate payee on a k or benefit holder to a pension? Does being on title to the real estate give an equal or some other ownership interest in the house?

Does the form of title, tenant in common or joint tenant, matter?

The Truth About Common Law Marriage & “Palimony” in California

Is there a Marvin claim, which are sometimes called "Palimony" cases? Any discussion of Marvin or Palimony cases is beyond the scope of this article. Are there other claims? Legal advice from an attorney you hire is important on California common law marriage issues Whether or not there is a proper common law marriage that should be recognized in California in your particular case is something you should talk to an attorney about in a private consultation and hire to get legal advice.

California Family Law.

Common Law Marriage

Last Name. Send Message. Gavron Warning in California Divorces. What to Expect in a Divorce Hearing? Learn From Our Divorce Litigators. More Publications. If you have a case number, write it here. If you have a court date, write it here. How many law offices have represented you?

Does California Have Common Law Marriage? | SFVBA Referral

How were you referred to us? We do not handle family law matters outside of the seven Southern California counties. Please do not complete this form if your matter is not in or will not be in Southern California.

By clicking submit, you authorize us to communicate with you by email. Completing this form does not create any attorney-client relationship. Our Family Law Firm. However, many states recognize name changes without official documentation. In theory, it is possible in most states to change your name through usage only. Despite the apparent convenience and other benefits of a common law marriage, there are several distinct disadvantages. Primarily, a common law marriage does not create a presumption that the marriage officially existed.

There is no official record of the marriage on the public record. This can also create problems when the relationship ends. Since there is no record of a common law marriage officially on the public record, there is no set process for determining division of assets or community property that would exist in an official marriage.

In the event of a breakup, one of the partners could have nothing left and no grounds for legal recourse. Another issue facing common law marriages is survivorship benefits.

How Many Years Is Considered Common Law Marriage In California?

If your partner dies in a common law marriage, you have no legal claim on his or her property as you would in an official marriage. Anyone with questions about common law marriage and state laws should consult with a family law attorney. Schoenberg Christina L. Call us. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Request a consultation. Posted in Firm News on January 11, Elements of a Common Law Marriage If you are wondering whether you and your partner qualify as a common law marriage, there are several factors that determine a common law marriage: Most states require that a common law marriage take place between two heterosexual partners that resides together in a state that recognizes common law marriages.