The Status of Common Law Marriage in Arizona: FAQs and Legal Resources

Feature Article: Exploring the Legality of Common Law Marriage in Arizona

Common law marriage has been a subject of interest for many years, with couples considering themselves married without ever having obtained a formal marriage certificate. This concept has been recognized in some states in the United States, but is not recognized in Arizona. The lack of recognition of common law marriage in Arizona can lead to unique legal challenges for couples who consider themselves husband and wife. In this article, we will explore the legality of common law marriage in Arizona and the implications it has for couples in the state.

The History of Common Law Marriage

Common law marriage dates back centuries and refers to a couple's legal recognition as married, without obtaining a formal marriage certificate. The concept was adopted in some states of the US, which required couples to live together a certain amount of time, have a joint bank account, and present themselves as married publicly to be considered legally married.

Is Common Law Marriage Valid in Arizona?

Arizona does not recognize common law marriage, which means that couples who consider themselves to be married under common law cannot obtain the same legal benefits as couples who have a formal marriage certificate. In other words, they cannot get divorced, file joint taxes, inherit each other's assets without a will, or receive spousal benefits like social security.

The Legal Implications of Common Law Marriage Originating in Another State

Arizona does not recognize common law marriage, but this does not mean that couples who got married under common law in other states cannot obtain legal benefits in Arizona. Arizona recognizes common law marriage originated in other states, which means that couples who have a valid common law marriage in a different state and move to Arizona can enjoy the legal benefits that come with it.

Protecting Your Rights and Assets Without a Formal Marriage Certificate

Couples who do not have a formal marriage certificate but consider themselves to be married can still protect their assets and rights through other means. It is important to seek legal advice on how to establish legal protection in the absence of a formal marriage certificate, especially if couples are in the process of breaking up or if one partner dies.

The Role of Legal Paraprofessionals in Common Law Marriage

Legal paraprofessionals are valuable resources for couples who are in a common law marriage. They can provide guidance on legal matters and represent them in court. Legal paraprofessionals can also help draft legal documents that establish the legal rights between partners in a common law marriage.

The Benefits of Entering into a Formal Marriage

While common law marriage may seem like an attractive concept for some couples, the benefits of entering into a formal marriage should not be overlooked. A formal marriage provides legal protection, security, and benefits that cannot be obtained through a common law marriage. These include spousal rights, inheritance, shared property, and tax benefits.


Common law marriage may not be recognized in Arizona, but couples who consider themselves to be married under common law can still find ways to protect their rights and assets through legal channels. Legal paraprofessionals can provide guidance and support in navigating these legal challenges. However, entering into a formal marriage is still the most secure way of protecting your legal rights and obtaining legal benefits.

Common Law Marriage- Validity in Arizona