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A common law marriage is a legal relationship between two people that does not require a formal ceremony. This is a type of relationship that was originally established in the United States and Canada.
However, most states no longer recognize this type of relationship. In some states, like Indiana, you cannot legally marry someone without a wedding.
When two people live together without any formal marriage, they are said to be cohabiting. This can cause significant problems, especially if the relationship comes to an end and there are children involved.
A valid cohabitation agreement must address all aspects of your financial life, from what property you own now and will have in the future, to how your accounts would be divided if one or both of you died or were separated. It also needs to address the nature of your relationship and whether or not you intend to get married in the future.
In Indiana, cohabitation does not establish a common law marriage unless there is proof of a contract to marry made by words in the present tense between the parties who can make the contract and acted upon by holding themselves out as husband and wife. Those words must be inferred from the attending circumstances, such as commingling funds, joint ownership of property, making each other parties to their estates, and naming each other on their health insurance policies.
Same-sex couples can have long-term relationships in Indiana, even if they do not legally marry. They may share expenses and have joint property interests that can be divided in a divorce case.
However, there are some exceptions to this. One exception is if they had a common law marriage in another state.
In this case, the courts would likely recognize the same-sex couple’s marriage in Indiana, although it is not guaranteed.
This issue is complicated by the fact that there are many laws in place that discriminate against same-sex couples. For example, many states have banned same-sex marriage or do not provide any legal alternatives such as domestic partnerships or civil unions for same-sex couples.
If you and your spouse are ready to end your marriage, you can get a divorce in Indiana. However, you must have grounds for a divorce before you can file the papers.
If your divorce is uncontested, you can usually avoid court costs by negotiating your issues through mediation. If you have minor children, you will also need to resolve issues of child custody and support.
Most property that a couple owns during their marriage is considered marital property in Indiana, to be divided equitably in the divorce process. This includes properties that were inherited or received by one spouse before the marriage.
Debt is also usually split evenly in a divorce in Indiana. However, if one spouse took on more debt during the marriage than the other, it may be more difficult for the courts to divide the debt equally.
Palimony is a form of financial support provided by one person to their former partner after a divorce or separation. It is a common law relationship that does not involve a marriage, but can be very beneficial for unmarried couples who need financial support during or after a breakup.
Indiana does not recognize traditional alimony and does not allow it in divorce cases, though it does offer spousal maintenance. However, courts may order alimony in some situations, including where one spouse has significant financial responsibility and the other has little or no financial responsibility.
If you have questions about marital property or alimony, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney. They will be able to help you understand your rights and advise you on how to move forward with your case.
If you are seeking to recover money owed to you from your former partner, you can file a Marvin action with a civil court. This type of action is essentially a request for palimony, and the court will consider your circumstances on a case-by-case basis.