Since the colonial days of America, those wishing to settle down with a partner without the pomp and circumstance of a ceremony or government interference could choose common law marriage.

Painting of George Washington and his Troops
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This was a fairly common practice in the early days of America, but the laws surrounding it have changed.

What is Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage is a practice that involves two people living together, agreeing to marriage with no extra strings. This is more of a verbal agreement, but for the early phases of American history it played out completely lawful as a legitimate form of marriage.

An application for Common Law Marriage
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As time marched forward, however, certain states began to take issue with the practice, and have outlawed the practice altogether.

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Is Common Law Marriage Legal in Arizona?

No, common law marriage is not legal in the state of Arizona. Due to the later addition of our state to the union, Arizona does not, and never has allowed common law marriage under its law.

Arizona Capitol with denied stamp on top of it
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While residents are free to live together and claim their marriage, but the state will refuse to recognize the union until it is performed legally. Now, out-of-state residents who have been common law married in states allowing the practice will be recognized by the Arizona government, as denying the marriage would be a violation of another state's rights.

Bride and Groom kiss
Credit: Canva

States that allow common law marriage include Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. These states all have their own rules towards the practice, so if you plan on moving to a state where the practice is legal, make sure to brush up on those state laws as well.

[State48 Law]

[National Conference of State Legislatures]

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