Tag: common law marriage massachusetts

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If You Live Together for 7 Years are You Married in Massachusetts?

My Boyfriend and I Have Been Living Together for 7 Years. Are We Married?

common law marriage massachusettsThis is an excellent and very common question. It’s a widespread misconception that if a couple lives together for 7 years or more in Massachusetts then they are considered married under common law. Massachusetts, however, does not recognize common law marriage.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived together for 7 years, 10 years or 30 years. Under Massachusetts law there is no common law marriage.

What Does This Mean to Me?

What it basically means is that no matter how long you’ve lived together in a relationship there are no real legal protections for you and the contributions you’ve made to the relationship if you break up or if one of you dies.

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Living Together/Cohabiting , , , , ,

If You Live Together for 7 Years are You Married in Massachusetts?

My Boyfriend and I Have Been Living Together for 7 Years. Are We Married?

Couple having relationship problemsThis is an excellent and very common question. It’s a widespread misconception that if a couple lives together for 7 years or more in Massachusetts then they are considered married under common law. Massachusetts, however, does not recognize common law marriage.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived together for 7 years, 10 years or 30 years. Under Massachusetts law there is no common law marriage.

What Does This Mean to Me?

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Massachusetts Does Not Recognize Common Law Marriage

US Supreme CourtMassachusetts does not recognize the doctrine of “common law” marriage. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve lived together, it could be 7 years or 70 years, you cannot have a marriage under common law in Massachusetts. This is true for both heterosexual couples and same sex couples.

Only a limited number of states in the United States recognize common law marriage – nearby Rhode Island happens to be one of them. Generally, though, in those states that do recognize common law marriage it isn’t the number of years living together that matters, it’s usually the “intent” of the couple. They must intend to be considered to be married, they must act like they are married in the community, and they must live together (the length of time usually doesn’t matter).

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