Can 2 people be common law married in alabama, if both parties are currently married to other people?

Asked almost 6 years ago - Millbrook, AL

i married at the age of 19, in the state of alabama, in 2001. we seperated by the end of 2002. we never divorced, but we havent seen each other since. but one month after we seperated, i met someone new, and have lived with him for the past 6 years. we have a 5 year old son together. i have a 9 year old daughter that is not his. on sept. 1, 2008, i found myself in a very violent domestic situation with him. he was very intoxicated, i wound up with a broken finger, and 6 stitches in my head. it all happened in front of both of the children. i was able to get myself and my daughter out of the house that night, but he would not let me near my son. the cop said we're commonlaw, but r we really, b/c we r both married to other people. he also left on my truck thats in my name and the cop said it is considered community property, b/c we are common law married. and there is nothing i can do about him taking my son, because you cant kidnap your own child, and that my truck is just as much his as it is mine, even though i bought and paid for it out of my income tax check, (i filed as single, head of household) the title and tag to the truck is fully in my name. and it just doesnt seem right that he can take my truck and my child, being as intoxicated as he was, and not tell me where he put either one of them. i now have no means of transportation, and i have absolutely no idea where my son is. please help me find out what i can do to get them back.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Thuong-Tri Nguyen

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Throughout the US, a person can be married to only one person at a time, whether by following the statutory procedures or by common law. If you are still legally married to your first husband, you cannot be married to anyone else simply by living with that person.

    Most police officers are not lawyers. What the police officers likely were trying to tell you is that they aren't in a position to determine the property rights between you and your boyfriend. The police will not get involve in your property and custody disputes unless there is a court order.

    Until there is a court order stating otherwise, both parents have equal rights to their children.

    You likely will need to go to court to get court orders regarding your property and custody of your son.

    You can check the website of AL LegalHelp to see if there is any information useful to you. The website is: http://www.lawhelp.org/AL/ . That site should have contact information to organizations that provide low or no cost legal help for qualified persons.

    If you are in a position to retain private attorneys, you likely will be able to find many attorneys willing to help.

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