Georgia is one of a few states that recognize common law marriage. It’s important to note that although Georgia does recognize common law marriage, it only does so for marriages formed before the January 1, 1997. After this date, common-law marriage can no longer be created in the state of GA.
Common law marriage occurs when two people have an agreement to be married, but don’t go through the traditional process of getting a marriage license and having a formal ceremony. In Georgia, couples who are considered to be “common-law married” must meet certain requirements before they can legally claim this status.
Requirements for Common Law Marriage in Georgia
In order for a couple to be considered legally married under common law in Georgia, they must satisfy several basic criteria:
1) Both parties must be able to form contracts.
2) There must be a contact in place between both parties.
3) Both parties must represent themselves as husband and wife to others and live together as if they were married – this satisfies the requirement that the marriage must be consumed.
4) The marriage must have taken place before January 1, 1997.
The most important factor when determining whether someone is part of a common law marriage is their intent and whether or not they have a contract with their partner. If two people have a contact, even though there was no ceremony performed, then it will still qualify as a valid common law union in the state of Georgia, as long as the date of January 1, 1997 is taken into consideration.
On the other hand, if you already have a legitimate common-law marriage under the rules of another state, then the state of GA will acknowledge your marriage as being legitimate.
Georgia Common Law Marriage Rights & Benefits
Once established, couples involved in common law marriages gain access to many benefits similar those granted after traditional weddings such as joint ownership rights over property acquired during the relationship and other benefits, as long as these are stipulated in the initial contract between both parties. Additionally, any children born into these unions can receive parental recognition from both partners just like any other child born within wedlock would receive under regular circumstances, if it’s mentioned in the initial common law marriage contract.
At BCA Law Firm, we understand the complexities of common law marriage and family immigration law. Our experienced family immigration lawyers have extensive knowledge in this field and can provide you with the best legal advice for your unique situation. If you would like more information about our services or would like to schedule an initial consultation, do not hesitate to contact us!