common-law marriage


common–law marriage

noun

Definition of COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE

1
:  a marriage recognized in some jurisdictions and based on the parties' agreement to consider themselves married and sometimes also on their cohabitation
2
:  the cohabitation of a couple even when it does not constitute a legal marriage

First Known Use of COMMON-LAW MARRIAGE

1888

common-law marriage

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Marriage that is without a civil or religious ceremony and is based on the parties' agreement to consider themselves married and usually also on their cohabitation for a period of time. Most jurisdictions no longer allow this type of marriage to be formed, though they may recognize such marriages formed before a certain date or formed in a jurisdiction that permits such marriages.

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