Common law marriage in Utah

Common law marriages were not recognized in Utah prior to 1987 when a common law statute was passed allowing couples living together to establish their marriage. Many couples living together have questions regarding their legal rights when dividing property and other families law issues such as child custody, parenting time, alimony and child support. Salt Lake City common law marriage Christopher M. Ault has experience helping clients with these family matters, including establishing your relationship to help protect the interests of your family.

Recognizing your relationship

You can petition the court to recognize your relationship in Utah, even if you never had a ceremony. Some of the most common reasons for this to happen is when couples end their relationship and they want to divide their property fairly. Other times, couples like to claim retirement or insurance benefits. As long as the court approves it, couples are considered married if they meet the following requirements:

  • Legal age and consent.
  • Couple can enter a solemnized marriage without any family issues that prevent their union.
  • They have lived together and they treat each other as being married.
  • People believe they are married.

You must file a petition to have your marriage recognized during the relationship or one year after it ended. Either party or a next of kin may be authorized to file the petition.

Filing a divorce petition

The petition to establish the marriage, as well as your divorce petition, can be filed together. Sometimes couples need to divide their marital property but they can’t-do so unless their relationship has already been recognized. A divorce is also a very helpful way to deal with child custody and child support issues. Nevertheless, you can also petition to establish parentage, even if you never got married. Salt Lake City common law marriage Christopher M. Ault will help you decide whether establishing your relationship is the best legal route to take at this point. Every case is unique therefore we need to take a closer look at your current circumstances.

Understanding your legal rights

People who have been living together for a long time may not understand their legal rights. By establishing your marriage, you may claim some legal rights like other married couples. Unfortunately, couples who cohabitate don’t discuss this topic until it’s time to end the relationship and important issues such as alimony, real estate, and child support tend to arise. The only way for the court to divide these assets fairly is after the common law marriage has been established.

Whether you are married or not, we understand it’s difficult ending a relationship. If you have been living together and you would like to recognize the existence of your relationship, contact us today and schedule your initial case evaluation. Unless you establish your relationship, you may not have a chance of dividing your property and solving child custody issues. A common law marriage divorce can be more challenging than a traditional marriage unless you have an experienced family law attorney guiding you every step of the way.