Is Alabama a Common-Law Marriage State?

is alabama a common law marriage stateThere is nothing worse than when your loved one is sick or dying, not having the power to do anything about it. If this loved one is someone whom you have been in a relationship with for years or decades, then this could be a huge problem. This problem often comes in the form of inheritance issues if your significant other passes away without a will or maybe you are unable to sign health forms on your significant other’s behalf. Regardless of the issue, sometimes not being married to your significant other can come with serious consequences.

However, some states allow for common law marriages, but is Alabama one of them? Because of the potential issue you could have if you are not married to your significant other, it is important to seek legal advice and representation. If you or a loved one have been denied emergency treatment, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney so that we can strategize about the best possible outcomes for your situation.

Alabama’s New Law as of January 2017

In Alabama, common-law marriages are legal and binding, however, on January 1, 2017, this law will change. Under Alabama’s current law, to establish a common-law marriage both partners must be mentally capable of entering a formal relationship; it must be held out to the public that you are a married couple; the intent must be to enter a permanent relationship; and the relationship must be consummated.

If these elements are met, then a couple does not have to have a ceremony which is conducted by a public or religious official to be effective. However, this law will change on January 1, 2017 due to a bill that was signed on May 3, 2017 by Governor Robert Bentley. Though you may be worried how this will affect you and your common-law marriage, for any couple that have established a common-law marriage before this date, you will not be affected by this new law. Nonetheless, because of the importance of this new law effective January 1 and the impact that it can have on you and your loved one’s lives, it is important to seek legal representation and advice from an experienced Birmingham family law attorney.

Need Legal Advice?

Alabama was once a common-law marriage state, however, as of January 2017 Alabama’s law will no longer cover common law marriage. Because of this significant change in the law, it is invaluable to seek legal advice and representation to determine how this law will affect you and your significant other. All situations are different, and because of this it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Birmingham family law attorney at Massey, Stotser, & Nichols, PC to help you with your case. Contact our office today!

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