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Leaders in Family Matters

There is no Common Law Marriage in Nevada


Common law marriage was a legal concept that recognized a legal marriage by virtue of people living together and acting as if they were spouses, even if they did not go through a formal ceremony or obtain a marriage license. In Nevada, common law marriage is not recognized, in fact, it was abolished in 1943, which means that a couple must go through the formal process of obtaining a marriage license and having a ceremony to be legally married.

A legal marriage in Nevada requires that a couple be at least 18 years old and not currently married. There are some exceptions to the age requirement, but this is the general rule. Each person must have the capacity to consent to the marriage, which means that they understand the nature and consequences of the marriage contract. Lastly, they must obtain a marriage license from the County Clerk’s office and have a formal ceremony with a licensed officiant.

It is important to note that even if a couple has been living together for a certain period of time and presents themselves as a married couple, this does not create a common-law marriage in Nevada. The only way to be legally married in Nevada is through the formal process of obtaining a marriage license and having a ceremony.

If a couple who is not legally married decides to separate, they do not have the same legal rights and protections as a legally married couple. For example, they may not be entitled to spousal support or the division of property acquired during the relationship. Usually, general contract principals will apply to this type of breakup.

However, there are some exceptions to the general rule that common-law marriage is not recognized in Nevada. If a couple was legally married in a state that recognizes common law marriage and then moves to Nevada, their marriage will still be recognized. Additionally, if a couple entered into a common-law marriage in a state that recognizes it and then moves to Nevada, they may be able to claim common-law
marriage status for certain legal purposes, such as the division of property in a divorce.

Nevada does recognize domestic partnerships, and both Nevada Marriage and Domestic Partnership law does not discriminate based on race or gender of the persons marrying.

by Travis Clark, Esq.

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