If you have been in a formal relationship for quite some time, you are probably wondering if you have any legal rights just like married couples. Unmarried couples sometimes can gain rights through a common law marriage. However, this is not exactly the case in Utah since there is no common-law marriage, yet there is another legal route you can benefit from. Ask your Salt Lake City common law marriage attorney about your options.
Traditional marriage versus alternative option in Utah
There are those couples that wish to be traditionally married, which means applying for a marriage license and completing the ceremony. The ceremony must be performed by a minister or qualifying individual. Once these steps are taken, the couple is officially married and entitled to receive federal and state marital benefits such as tax deductions, Social Security benefits, inheritance rights, and immigration benefits for the foreign spouse.
Couples who have lived together for a period of time in Utah, can request their relationship to be recognized as a marriage. In other words, you can be officially married after you file a written request at the local court. The petition can only be filed during the relationship or one year after a separation. The couple is officially married after the judge grants the approval. However, the marriage is backdated to the time when they started their relationship. This process is supposed to help recognize the relationship as a marriage. It has nothing to do with common law, which is nonexistent in Utah. It can be very helpful during divorce proceedings with specific factors such as spousal support, property division, and so on.
Establishing the marriage
Both partners are legally entitled to request the judge recognizes their relationship as a marriage. However, you must present the required evidence. A Salt Lake City common law marriage attorney can help you gather all the information you need and make sure it is filed accordingly and in a timely manner. Some things you will need to prove, include:
· Partners are of legal age
· Legally qualified to be married
· They have lived together
· They have treated each other as husband and wife
As long as the court approves the evidence provided, the couple’s request can be granted and they can finally be declared legally married. This petition can be filed in a local court. If the relationship began prior to 1987, the couple can’t file for divorce since divorce was not a legal option at the time in the state of Utah.
Both partners must consent
In order for the request to be granted, both partners must agree that the union is a marriage. Some ways to do this, include:
· Written agreement
· Prove of joint finances
· Filing taxes jointly
· Any other legal document that proves the relationship is valid
Benefits of marriage
Couples who have their relationship recognized can enjoy a variety of benefits. To find out more about whether your relationship qualifies for a marriage in Utah, call us today and schedule your initial case assessment with a Salt Lake City family law attorney.