${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt} Main Menu
Call Today: 855-805-0595

Common-law marriage not so common

38365677_S.jpgIn recent decades, the stigma of two people living together has been reduced. More people are cohabiting, and it is important that they recognize the difference between cohabiting and marriage. Missouri does not recognize common law marriage, so simply living together in St. Louis will not create such a marriage. If you want to be married in Missouri, you need to comply with all of the statutory requirements to ensure you are legally married.

The one irony of common-law marriage is that in the few states that do recognize it, you can be married simply by living together and holding yourselves out as married. However, should you later decide you no longer wish to live together and want to end your common law marriage, you have to dissolve your marriage just as if you had been married.

If the state considers you "married" via a common-law marriage, you will have the complex problem of divorcing where often one of the parties will insist that there never was a marriage.

This is one of the reasons why the practice has been done away with in most states. It can be a very factually intensive process to dig through two people's lives in an effort to determine if they really intended to live as a married couple or simply roomed together, and many judges find that to be a waste of judicial resources.

For individuals in Missouri, if you fail to marry, you may lose many advantages, from the ability to inherit from your spouse to the loss of health benefits or Social Security benefits.  And remember, child support obligations are created at the birth of a child, whether or not the parents are married. 

Because obtaining a marriage license and completing the ceremony is relatively easy, if you live together, you should carefully consider the full implications of not being married.

If you do not wish to marry but are in a long-term relationship, you may want to discuss creating some contractual agreements to govern your financial relationship. Of course, getting married would be much easier and cheaper.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Our Team To Get Help Now

Tell us about your case and we’ll get back to you promptly.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close
Stange Logo

Stange Law Firm, PC
120 S. Central Avenue
Suite 450
St. Louis (Clayton), Missouri 63105

Toll Free: 855-805-0595
Fax: 314-963-9191
St. Louis Law Office Map

DHQ | Divorce Headquarters Divorce
Headquarters ® App Download The App
Questions? Live Chat Pay Your Bill Online
States of Service

Other Office Locations

  • Saint Louis County: 120 S. Central Ave., Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105: Clayton Office
  • West County: 16024 Manchester Rd., Suite 103, Ellisville, MO 63011: Ellisville Office
  • Jackson County: 256 NE Tudor Rd., Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086: Lee's Summit Office
  • Jefferson County: 16 Municipal Drive, Suite C, Arnold, MO 63010: Arnold Office
  • St. Charles County: 2268 Bluestone Drive, St. Charles, MO 63303: St. Charles Office
  • Franklin County: 5 S. Oak St. Union, MO 63084: Union Office
  • Lincoln County: 20 Centerline Drive, Troy, Missouri 63379: Troy Office
  • Boone County: 1506 Chapel Hill Rd., Suite H, Columbia, MO 65203: Columbia Office
  • Greene County: 901 E. St. Louis, Suite 404, Springfield, Missouri 65806: Springfield, MO Office
  • St. Clair County: 115 Lincoln Place Ct., Ste. 101, Belleville, IL 62221: Belleville Office
  • Madison County: 5 Club Centre Ct., Suite A, Edwardsville, Illinois 62025: Edwardsville Office
  • Sangamon County: 400 S. 9th St., Suite 100, Springfield, IL 62701: Springfield Office
  • McLean County: 1012 Ekstam Drive, Suite 4, Bloomington, IL 61704: Bloomington Office
  • Johnson County: 7300 West 110th Street, Suite 560, Overland Park, KS 62210: Overland Park Office
  • Sedgwick County: 2024 N. Woodlawn Street, Suite 407, Wichita, Kansas 67208: Wichita Office
  • Shawnee County: 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 812, Topeka, Kansas 66612: Topeka Office
  • Monroe County: 116 W. Mill St., Waterloo, IL 62298 (by appt. only): Waterloo Office
  • St. Louis City: 100 S. 4th St., #549, St. Louis, MO 63102 (by appt. only): St. Louis Office
  • Jackson County: 2300 Main St., #948, Kansas City, MO 64108 (by appt. only): Kansas City Office

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision & should not be based solely upon advertisements. See additional disclaimers here.