What Is Common Law Marriage in Kansas?
Common law marriage, sometimes referred to as informal marriage, is a legal concept that recognizes a couple as married even if they did not go through a formal ceremony or obtain a marriage license. While common law marriage is not recognized in all states, it is recognized in Kansas under certain circumstances. This article will explore the requirements for common law marriage in Kansas and answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.
Requirements for Common Law Marriage in Kansas:
To establish a common law marriage in Kansas, couples must meet specific criteria. These criteria include:
1. Mutual Agreement: Both parties must have a mutual consent and understanding that they are married. Simply living together or having a long-term relationship is not enough to establish a common law marriage.
2. Cohabitation: The couple must live together and hold themselves out as a married couple. This means presenting themselves to the community, friends, and family as spouses and behaving as a married couple would.
3. Capacity to Marry: Both parties must be legally eligible to marry. This includes being of legal age and not being closely related by blood.
4. Intent: The couple must have the intent to be married. This can be demonstrated through actions such as referring to each other as spouses, filing joint tax returns, or sharing financial responsibilities.
5. Public Declaration: The couple must publicly declare their common law marriage. This can be done by signing documents that acknowledge their marital status or by officially notifying the community, friends, and family of their relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is common law marriage automatically recognized in Kansas?
No, common law marriage is not automatically recognized in Kansas. Couples must meet the requirements listed above to establish a common law marriage.
2. How long do you have to live together to be considered common law married in Kansas?
There is no specific time requirement for establishing a common law marriage in Kansas. It is based on the couple’s mutual agreement, intent, and behavior as spouses.
3. Can same-sex couples enter into a common law marriage in Kansas?
Yes, same-sex couples can enter into a common law marriage in Kansas. Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, the requirements for common law marriage apply to all couples, regardless of gender.
4. Can a common law marriage be dissolved in Kansas?
Yes, a common law marriage can be dissolved in Kansas. The process is similar to a traditional divorce and involves filing the necessary legal documents and going through the appropriate legal procedures.
5. How can you prove a common law marriage in Kansas?
Proving a common law marriage in Kansas can be challenging, as there is no official marriage certificate. However, evidence such as joint bank accounts, shared property, shared bills, or testimonies from friends and family can be used to establish the existence of a common law marriage.
6. Can you have a common law marriage and a traditional marriage ceremony in Kansas?
No, Kansas law does not recognize both a common law marriage and a traditional marriage ceremony between the same couple. Once a common law marriage is established, the couple is considered legally married, and a formal wedding ceremony is unnecessary.
In conclusion, common law marriage is recognized in Kansas under specific conditions. Couples must meet the requirements of mutual agreement, cohabitation, capacity to marry, intent, and public declaration to establish a common law marriage. While common law marriage can be dissolved, proving its existence can be challenging. It is important to consult with a legal professional to understand the specific laws and procedures regarding common law marriage in Kansas.