By Megan Miller, Editor
MONTGOMERY – Gov. Robert Bentley recently signed a bill that will abolish common-law marriages in Alabama.
Officials said this type of marriage can lead to issues, especially if the couple breaks up, if one of them dies or if children are involved.
Forty states already have bans in place on common law marriages. Common law marriages prior to the law going into effect will still be recognized.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Jones, R- Andalusia during the last legislative session, which was signed by the governor on May 3.
Common law marriage doesn’t require a couple to have a ceremony conducted by a public or religious official and couples aren’t required to have a marriage license, unlike traditional marriage. Alabama law previously only required two people to have an agreement to enter into a marriage relationship and present themselves to married as the public.
Proof of marriage could include filing joint tax returns, having a joint bank account or referring to themselves as “husband” and “wife.”
Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas and Utah are the remaining states with some form of common law marriage.