Have you heard that if you live with your partner for 7 years you are considered to be in a common-law marriage? Is that true in Minnesota? Let's dive in and find out the truth.

The definition of a common-law marriage.

A common-law marriage is also known as a non-ceremonial marriage or informal marriage. It's a marriage that comes from two people who consider themselves married and live together but didn't officially register with their state or obtain a marriage certificate.

Common law marriages are valid in some states.

Some states actually do recognize common-law marriages like Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, and others. Each state has their own laws and stipulations as to how a common-law marriage is established.

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Does living together for 7 years automatically make it a common-law marriage?

This is a big myth. Nowhere in the United States can a common-law marriage exist just because you've lived together for 7 years.

Minnesota doesn't recognize common-law marriages.

Common-law marriages were abolished in Minnesota in 1941. Lawfirm Sheridan, Dulas & Kinds, P.A. explain that no matter who you tell you are married or how long you live together doesn't matter.

There's a loophole in the Minnesota law.

Minnesota will recognize a common-law marriage if a couple is married by common law in another state. That has to be valid by the other states' requirements, and then Minnesota will recognize it.

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Do you have any equitable rights if you live with someone in Minnesota for years?

Here's a situation that has happened. A person in with their partner and remain unmarried as they cohabitate. Years later, they separate. The partner that isn't on the title and not married doesn't have any equitable rights to the property.

You should really talk to an attorney with any specific questions.

There are some other things to consider, like putative spouses. That's when a clerical error could make your marriage invalid. There are different laws and ways to rectify that. When it comes to important things like this, you should always discuss it with an attorney.

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