What is a common law marriage?

A common law marriage happens when a man and a woman, both 18 and over:

  1. agree to be married
  2. live together as husband and wife; and
  3. represent to other people that they are married

There is no set time period for two people to be together to be considered common law married.

A common law marriage may also occur if a man and a woman, both 18 and over, sign a Declaration of Informal Marriage provided by the Bureau of Vital Statistics or the County Clerk.