Legal Question in Family Law in Alabama

Malda and Dan are common law married as some would say. They are my in-laws and live with us. Malda has serious mental and health problems and no one here is physcially or mentally able to take care of her any longer. We wanted to have her fully committed to a nursing/old folks home or mental home. We was wondering does her "husband" or us either one have any legal authority to have her committed to a nursing hom/old folks home or would one of her children have to do it? What is our or her "husband"s legal authority in this situation?

Asked on 9/26/11, 9:49 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

James Coleman Murchison & Howard, LLC

Common law marriage is not "as some would say." An Alabama common law marriage is just as valid as a ceremonial marriage if all of the elements are met. The two people must cohabitate, they must live together as husband and wife, they must hold themselves out to the community as married and they must both have an intention to be married to each other which they do the other acts required. If those elements are complied with, they are just as married as any other person and have the rights and responsibilities of any other spouse.

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Answered on 10/10/11, 7:52 am

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