Written by attorney Jacquelyn Diane Tomlinson

What is Common Law Marriage in the State of Alabama?

The State of Alabama recognizes common law marriages. This simply means that no ceremony is required for there to be a valid marriage between the parties. In order for a common law marriage to be created the parties must have the capacity to marry, have a present agreement or consent to be husband and wife, and consummate the marriage. Once a common law marriage is shown to exist, there is no legal difference between a common law marriage and a ceremonial marriage.

A ceremonial marriage is the marriage that most people think about then they think of a marriage relationship. A ceremonial marriage requires a marriage license which may be obtained at the court house and is valid for thirty days. A marriage that is considered ceremonial is deemed complete with then marriage license is obtained and the marriage is solemnized by a person with proper authority.

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