The legal fiction of common law marriage
by: Johnette Duff
During a radio-talk show appearance, a caller told me about his unfortunate brush with the legal fiction of common-law marriage. He had been living with a woman for several weeks when he came home one evening to find the woman, his TV and assorted other property missing. He called the police, who mistakenly informed him that the woman was his common-law wife and so they couldn’t help him.
What qualifies as a common-law marriage? Take your pick:
Leaving too many clothes at your girlfriend’s house?
Living together six months
Living together seven years?
Chances are you picked the third answer, but all three response are equally wrong. A common misconception is that the length of cohabitation creates common-law status...Read More