What Is Common Law Marriage in Indiana?
Common law marriage is a legal concept that allows couples to be recognized as married without a formal ceremony or a marriage license. In Indiana, common law marriage is not recognized, meaning that couples cannot establish a legally binding marriage through common law.
Unlike some other states, Indiana does not have specific laws or statutes that recognize common law marriage. To be legally married in Indiana, couples must obtain a marriage license and have a formal ceremony performed by an authorized individual, such as a judge or religious official.
9 FAQs About Common Law Marriage in Indiana
1. Can I be considered married if I have lived with my partner for a certain number of years in Indiana?
No, Indiana does not recognize common law marriage, regardless of the length of time a couple has lived together.
2. Are there any circumstances in which a common law marriage would be recognized in Indiana?
No, Indiana does not recognize common law marriage under any circumstances.
3. Can I claim my partner as a spouse for tax purposes if we are in a common law marriage in Indiana?
No, since common law marriage is not recognized in Indiana, you cannot claim your partner as a spouse for tax purposes.
4. What happens if a couple who has been living together as if married separates in Indiana?
If a couple who has been living together separates in Indiana, they are not legally married, so they do not have the same rights and responsibilities as a legally married couple. However, they may still have legal issues to resolve, such as property division or child custody, which can be addressed through other legal processes.
5. Can I change my last name to my partner’s last name if we are in a common law marriage in Indiana?
No, Indiana does not recognize common law marriage, so you cannot legally change your last name based on a common law marriage.
6. Can I receive spousal support if I separate from my partner in Indiana?
Since common law marriage is not recognized in Indiana, you cannot receive spousal support as a result of a common law marriage. However, you may still be eligible for other forms of support, such as child support or division of assets, depending on your specific circumstances.
7. What steps can I take to protect my rights if I am in a long-term relationship but not legally married in Indiana?
If you are in a long-term relationship but not legally married in Indiana, it is important to create legal agreements to protect your rights and interests. This can include drafting a cohabitation agreement, which outlines how property and assets will be divided in the event of a separation, or creating a power of attorney to ensure that your partner can make medical or financial decisions on your behalf if necessary.
8. Can I receive survivor benefits from my partner’s pension or Social Security if we are in a common law marriage in Indiana?
No, since common law marriage is not recognized in Indiana, you cannot receive survivor benefits from your partner’s pension or Social Security based on a common law marriage.
9. Can I establish a common law marriage in another state and have it recognized in Indiana?
No, if you establish a common law marriage in a state that recognizes it, such as Texas, and then move to Indiana, your common law marriage will not be recognized in Indiana. You would need to meet the legal requirements for marriage in Indiana, such as obtaining a marriage license and having a formal ceremony, to be considered legally married in the state.