Is Common Law Marriage Recognized in Florida?
When a couple lives together for a substantial amount of time, they might choose to present themselves as married, which is also known as a common law marriage. Through this type of marriage, a couple may file joint tax returns or even use the same last name. However, while common law marriages exist in some states, Florida does not recognize any common law marriage that began after 1968. Therefore, if you are living as a married person without any of the legal protections of being married, you might run into some steep legal obstacles.
Florida and Common Law Marriages
In the handful of states where common law marriages are recognized, you will have to meet a variety of requirements that go well beyond simply living together for many years. In Florida, if you have a significant other and would like him or her to have legal rights over financial or health issues, but you would rather not take a trip down the aisle, you will need to prepare certain documents to ensure your partner has a say in these crucial matters if you ever become incapacitated.
Moreover, if you are not married to your partner, spent a considerable amount of years together, and choose to end the relationship, you will miss out on numerous protections and benefits, including social security benefits, rights to the assets you accumulated together, and other financial protections.
If you had a common law marriage in Florida prior to 1968 or you entered into a common law marriage in a state where such unions are valid and recognized, Florida will acknowledge it as well, allowing you access to the benefits you would have otherwise lacked. If you have a common law marriage that is recognized in the state of Florida and you would like to dissolve it, you must do so as you would with any other divorce. If you do not have a common law marriage and you were living together, separating from your partner will present some challenges as you attempt to fight for the rights to the assets you accumulated together.
Discuss the Details of Your Common Law Marriage Case with an Experienced Attorney
If you wish to end your common law marriage or you have questions about your legal rights, the experienced team at Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office can provide the legal guidance you need. The end of any kind of relationship is difficult, especially when there are some disagreements over the assets you built together. Our attorney will protect your rights and interests, so you can move forward.