Most issues around common law marriages arise when one or the other partner in the common law marriage either asserts that there is a marriage and he or she is entitled to the legal benefits of that marriage or when one or the other partner suddenly realizes that a marriage might exist and he or she wants to end the marriage.
Common law marriages are recognized in Wagoner, Oklahoma. Here are some facts that you might want to know.
What Is a Common Law Marriage?
Common law marriages happen when a couple lives together for a specified period and under the right conditions. In Oklahoma, a court will look at a number of factors to determine if a couple has entered into a common law union.
These factors are not requirements, but could instead be categorized as characteristics. There are certain characteristics that are typically seen in common law marriages. A court will look at the entirety of the relationship over time to see if these characteristics are present.
In Oklahoma, these characteristics include: holding yourselves out as a married couple to the general public; you must be legally eligible to marry, meaning you are not married to anyone else; you must mutually and actually intend to be married to each other; and you must live together for a specified time as a married couple, long enough to establish a relationship similar to marriage.
How to Terminate a Common Law Marriage
While common law marriage exists, there is no such thing as a common law divorce. Because a common law marriage is recognized as a legal marriage in Oklahoma, you must file for divorce in an Oklahoma court to terminate a common law marriage.
In reality, once you file a petition for divorce in Wagoner, the court will probably hold a hearing on the issue of whether a common law marriage exists before proceeding to all the issues involved in a divorce.
Testimony may be taken from friends and family on the issue of the manner and duration in which the couple has held themselves out to the public. The court will also look to see how you and your partner hold property, whether you have filed joint tax returns and the like. These cases are quite fact-bound and can be complicated from an evidentiary standpoint.
The legal determination of both the marriage and the divorce can impact your life financially for years to come. It is important that you hire an attorney to help you understand the intricacies of such a case and how to best handle it to protect your interests, now and in the future.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Divorce Attorney
When your marriage plans unravel, get the best legal counsel available. Don’t go it alone. Get an experienced, reliable Wagoner divorce attorney on your side.
Contact the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at 918-485-0335 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.