- The traditional way, by means of a marriage license and a ceremony before a judge, justice of the peace, or clergyman.
- By common law, which requires no ceremony or official license at all.
Oklahoma is one of the few states that recognizes common law marriages. By simply living together under specified conditions, you may enjoy all the benefits of a legal marriage, such as inheritance rights and division of property rights.
The requirements for common law marriage in Oklahoma are the following:
- You must present yourselves publicly as a married couple.
- You must be legally eligible to marry, which means you must be unmarried and old enough to marry.
- You must mutually agree to be married.
- You must live together as man and wife for a specified length of time. Although recent case law suggests there is no such requirement, living together long enough can be used as evidence to demonstrate a relationship akin to a marriage exists.
In order for your relationship to qualify as a common law marriage in Oklahoma, the above requirements must be demonstrated in a clear and convincing manner. The following means may provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate a common law marriage exists:
- Filing joint tax returns.
- Using the same last name.
- Owning assets and liabilities together.
- Friends and family testifying about your relationship.
- Designating each other as the beneficiaries of life insurance policies.
Couples in common law marriages enjoy the same rights and privileges as traditionally married couples in Oklahoma, but they are subject to the same rules as well. This means you can only be married to one person at a time; and, if you no longer want to be married, you must get a divorce, divide property, and arrange child custody (if applicable).
For more information on the requirements for common law marriage in Oklahoma, seek the consultation of an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney.
Free Confidential Consultation: Sapulpa Family Law Attorney
For a free consultation with a Sapulpa family law attorney, call the Wirth Law Office – Sapulpa at (918) 248-0067 or toll-free at (888) 947-8452. You may also submit the question form at the top right of this page. Either way you reach out to us, we will promptly respond to your legal concerns about family law matters.