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
Legal Definition of common–law marriage
: a marriage that is without a ceremony and is based on the parties' agreement to consider themselves married and usually also on their cohabitation for a period and their public recognition of the marriage — compare concubinage
Additional Notes on common–law marriage
Most jurisdictions no longer allow this type of marriage to be formed, although they may recognize such marriages formed prior to a certain date or formed in a jurisdiction that does permit common-law marriages.
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