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“Common Law” marriage in Utah Posted on July 30, 2012, by

At times the issue of common law marriage arises in the context of divorcing parties, or separating parties, or those who need to establish a legal marriage relationship.  Utah law on the subject is as follows:

 30-1-4.5.   Validity of marriage not solemnized.
(1) A marriage which is not solemnized according to this chapter shall be legal and valid if a court or administrative order establishes that it arises out of a contract between a man and a woman who:
(a) are of legal age and capable of giving consent;
(b) are legally capable of entering a solemnized marriage under the provisions of this chapter;
(c) have cohabited;
(d) mutually assume marital rights, duties, and obligations; and
(e) who hold themselves out as and have acquired a uniform and general reputation as husband and wife.
(2) The determination or establishment of a marriage under this section shall occur during the relationship described in Subsection (1), or within one year following the termination of that relationship. Evidence of a marriage recognizable under this section may be manifested in any form, and may be proved under the same general rules of evidence as facts in other cases.

These kinds of cases are generally tricky and are usually best brought with the assistance of an attorney.

Written by

paul@paulwaldronpc.com

4 Responses to "“Common Law” marriage in Utah"

  1. Deborah says:

    Just a question….what does the court require in the way of paperwork as proof of this “contract”? I have tax returns listing me as a dependant of my husband, joint bank account, power of attorney showing same address for both of us and letters from someone we know who met us as husband and wife. Will they need anything else?

    • Dear Deborah,

      Thank you for sharing your case with us. I can only comment on your case as much as the information you have provided and according to Utah law; as such, what I share here is cannot be construed as legal advice for your particular situation but only legal information strictly limited to the facts you have shared.

      The key is to present enough credible evidence to the judge that it will be clear and convincing that there is a common law marriage. From the facts you present, the question I see that needs to be answered is, did you hold yourselves out as and have you acquired a uniform and general reputation as husband and wife? Of course, you must meet all elements of your case, but that is the question that is staring out from the facts you have provided.

      As is customary, I recommend that you seek legal advice from an attorney with all the specific facts of your situation so that you can know whether or not you have a case worth pursuing.

      I hope this helps, and thank you for adding to the conversation. This reply does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Deborah says:

    To answer your question, yes. We refer to one another as husband and wife in all situations. Everyone knows us as husband and wife without exception.

    • Dear Deborah,

      Thank you for sharing this updated information regarding your case with us. I can only comment on your case as much as the information you have provided and according to Utah law; as such, what I share here is cannot be construed as legal advice for your particular situation but only legal information strictly limited to the facts you have shared.

      It sounds like you have those elements of your claim covered.

      I hope this helps, and thank you for adding to the conversation. This reply does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.

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