Is there Common Law Marriage in Georgia?

Posted by Samantha Embry | Jan 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Common law marriage

The short answer is no. There is no common law marriage in Georgia unless it was established before January 1, 1997 or you were married in a state that recognizes common law marriage.   In order to have a valid marriage in Georgia you must have three things:

  1. A marriage license granted by county probate courts.   If you've been married before, you will need to present the court with your divorce decree to remarry.
  2. The right mind – you must have be legally competent with the intent to be married
  3. Be of legal marrying age:
  • 16 years old with parental consent
  • 18 years old without parental consent
  • If you have children, you can marry at any age in Georgia.

If you were married prior to the abolishment of common law marriage in Georgia, there are three requirements that must all be met and exist at the same time:

  1. Holding yourself out to others as husband and wife.  Examples include: telling your friends and family you are married, changing your status to married on social media, conducting personal business as husband and wife, changing your name, etc.
  2. Intending to be in a common law marriage.  Examples include: living together, purchasing/financing items together, filing taxes together, etc.
  3. Must consummate the agreement.    

If you were married in a state that recognizes common law marriage and you move to Georgia, you will need documents and evidence to prove your marriage.  Some examples include:

  • Friends and family members who will testify that the couple is married and has presented themselves to be married
  • Proof of using the same last name
  • Proof of living together
  • Having children together
  • Joint tax returns
  • Joint bills (leases, utility bills, car notes, etc.)
  • Insurance information (proof of beneficiary elections, insurance cards, etc.)  

If you need legal help as it relates to common law marriage and divorce in Georgia, contact Embry Legal.  

About the Author

Samantha Embry

Samantha Embry is a passionate advocate and avid legal researcher who believes everyone deserves dedicated legal representation.  After almost a decade of working in the insurance industry, Samantha decided to pursue her desire to help people through law. While working a full time job and raising...

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