Legal Question in Family Law in Oklahoma

Common Law Divorces

My son,s father and I have been living together for about 3 years now. Before we got togeher for good this time he was living with another woman and had been for over 10 years. What should he do?

Asked on 2/03/02, 1:31 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sharon Cole Jones Sharon Cole Jones, Esq.

Re: Common Law Divorces

Just because a man & woman live together, doesn't automatically mean they are married. In order for a common law marriage to exist, the two must hold themselves out (tell others or act)as being married; have the intention of being married; must live together (no specific amount of time required); and must be legally in the position to be married (old enough, not already married, or not divorced within the last 6months, etc.). So, if he lived with the other woman meeting all the 4 criteria, then he had a common law marriage with her. If that is the case, then he MUST get a Divorce from her before he can have a common law marriage with you. There is NO such thing a common law divorce. I strongly recommend you investigate this for the protection of your child's inheritance, in the tragic event something happens to his father. I represented an 8 yr old boy whose parents both died tragically. The child should have had a lot of money coming to him, until another woman cam on the scene claiming the father as her husband from a common law marriage. They had not been together for 7yrs. but she was still his wife. The law protects a spouse when someone dies. So she was entitled to a BIG portion of the estate. The question here is what does the WOMAN think. Is she going to try to say they were married? He should probably discuss this with his attorney. This is not an issue that you should ignore if you want to protect you and your child from any claim this woman may try to assert. GOOD LUCK. SHARON

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Answered on 2/03/02, 10:10 am

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