Throughout pop culture a common couple dynamic that shows up a lot is common law marriage. This has become such a common myth that many people in very long term relationships assume that they are legally married to each other just because they have been together for a long time.  So the big question is “Does common law marriage even exist in Connecticut?”  If you are in a long term relationship does this mean you can wind up married just by virtue of your long term relationship?  If you break up, do you need to get divorced even though you never took the step of legally marrying?

So what exactly is Common law marriage? Well it is a legal concept where romantic partners who live together for a certain period of time become legally married even though they never have a formal ceremony or get a marriage license.  In states who recognize the concept, these couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities that they would have had they technically married. Common-law spouses might have rights to property division, alimony, and spousal support. They might even have to divorce in order to end their relationship legally.

Connecticut and Common Law Marriage

No matter how long a couple lives together in Connecticut, there is no common law marriage in this state.  

There is one, narrow exception to this rule.  When determining whether a marriage is valid, Connecticut’s marriage laws look to the law of the state in which the relationship began.  In other words, if romantic partners began and established a common law marriage in a state that recognizes it, that marriage will be recognized in Connecticut.

Now many committed, long-term couples still want to be able commit to a financial arrangement should they end their relationship.  While there is no common law marriage in Connecticut, and living together (or “cohabitating”) does not trigger any financial rights or obligations, the partners may enter into a “cohabitation agreement.”

A Cohabitation Agreement is a contract between unmarried cohabitants.  The partners can agree to certain financial rights and obligations arising from their relationship.

Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

Need help? Then you should contact the Law Offices of Keith Anthony at (860) 333-6455. Attorney Keith Anthony can help you navigate thru this process, step by step and is open to assist you.