In Utah, couples who are not legally married but have been living together in a committed relationship may have the option to pursue a decree of divorce and fair division of property by having the court recognize their relationship as a Common Law Marriage.
Utah Common Law Marriage
In Utah, a Common Law Marriage is a legal concept that, by court order, retroactively grants married status to couples who have not undergone a formal marriage ceremony or obtained a marriage license. Instead, it is based on the couple’s mutual agreement to consider themselves married and history of presenting themselves as a married couple to others.
Before proceeding with a decree of divorce in the context of a Common Law Marriage, it is essential to consider the potential advantages and disadvantages that may arise from seeking the court’s determination that their relationship is or was a common law marriage.
Advantage of Utah Common Law Marriage
One significant advantage of obtaining a Common Law Marriage divorce is allowing for the division of assets and liabilities under divorce law in the event of a relationship breakdown. This can be particularly valuable where the couple has acquired property or incurred liability but where the property or liability is not in both partner’s names.
Disadvantage of Utah Common Law Marriage
On the other hand, it is crucial to acknowledge potential challenges or disadvantages that may arise in the process. Proving the existence of a Common Law Marriage can be difficult in some cases, especially if tangible evidence is scarce, or if the couple’s situation is not clearly defined. This could complicate and increase the cost of the divorce process. In other words, it may not be economically feasible.
There may be downsides to having your relationship adjudicated as a common law marriage that outweigh the advantages. For instance, the benefit of a fair property division may outweigh the potential alimony consequences. Seeking the counsel of a knowledgeable family law attorney with expertise in the laws of your specific jurisdiction is vital to understanding your rights and options.
Another aspect worth considering is the misunderstanding or misconceptions that might arise from pursuing a Common Law Marriage divorce. It may be that explaining the concept or relying on a common law marriage instead of standard marriage will be difficult.
In conclusion, exploring the possibility of obtaining a decree of divorce through a recognized Common Law Marriage can be a multifaceted endeavor, encompassing various legal and emotional considerations. Seeking legal advice from a qualified family law attorney, well-versed in handling Common Law Marriage cases, is essential to navigate the intricacies and to make well-informed decisions aligned with your best interests. Each situation is unique, and having the right support can make a significant difference in achieving a fair and satisfactory resolution for all parties involved.