Does California Recognize Common Law Marriages?

Tierney Law Group

When it comes to progressive states, California typically ranks near the top, especially when it comes to recognizing unions between residents. Though many may believe California recognizes common law marriages, essentially, like many other states, it does not.

Not recognizing common law marriages can pose issues in the event of a separation, child custody, and other cohabitation issues. The legal team at Tierney Law Group dedicatedly helps our clients navigate California’s common law marriage guidelines. Call our office today to learn how we can help you answer all of your questions.

Common Law Marriage California

Common law marriage in California refers to a relationship between couples with no formal or legal recognition of their union but based on the length of the relationship and cohabitation. Since California does not recognize common law marriages, it permits divorce proceedings to continue for couples who have established a common law marriage recognized by another state.

What is Palimony?

According to a California Supreme Court decision in 1976, non-marital partners have the right to seek expressed or implied agreements for financial support and property sharing if the couple were to separate. A partner may file for palimony, a civil claim to enforce implied, or express agreements made during a common law marriage. A court can only intervene in common law marriage in California if there is a filed palimony case or property dispute.

Even though there is no established California common law marriage recognition, a Pleasanton CA family law attorney can help should an unmarried couple split. For example, the family law attorney can help divide assets based on property laws and agreements and help with child support and custody terms if the unmarried couple has children together. The attorneys at Tierney Law Group passionately help clients seek palimony and settle disputes associated with common law marriage. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about California’s laws surrounding common law marriage.

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