The state of California does not recognize common law marriages, even though the practice is honored in some other states. A common law marriage is a marriage that takes place without any formal ceremony. In some states, couples that have been together for an extended amount of time and live and behave like a marriage couple will automatically become married in the eyes of the law. When common law marriage is honored, the couple will have all the same state benefits as a couple married with ceremony. This includes tax benefits and estate planning benefits.
If you live in California, then you are not able to become married through a common law marriage. Instead, you will need to go to the courthouse and sign a marriage license in order to officiate the marriage. If you do not officiate the marriage, then you will not be permitted to make financial or life-saving for your partner if they are temporarily incapacitated or involved in a medical emergency. You also may be locked out of your partner's bank accounts, and may be unable to manage your bills.
You may be left as a helpless bystander in many important and life-altering decisions regarding your loved one's care and support. If you want more information about common law marriages or officiating a marriage ceremony to get the legal rights that spouses have, then you need to talk to a Mission Viejo family attorney today. An attorney at The Hunter Law Group will be able to assist you in your case and can help you to work through any complications. Also, if you are in a domestic partnership and have questions about your child custody arrangements, property division, or spousal support you need to talk to an attorney today for more information.