Implications of Common Law Marriage

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Victorious, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Victorious

    Victorious
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    What are the implications of being in a common law relationship? Does God according to his Word sanction this union and how can Christians differentiate between "fornication" and a union where it is an implied marriage?

    I'm still digesting the political/religious implications myself, so I'm looking for feedback. One aspect is that these unions would not be subject to the decrease in benefits that married couples have. Any thoughts? :type:

    Excerpts from http://www.ncsl.org/programs/cyf/commonlaw.htm

    Before modern domestic relations statutes, couples became married by a variety of means that developed from custom. These became the elements of a "common-law marriage," or a marriage that arose by operation of law through the parties' conduct, instead of through a ceremony. In many ways, the theory of common-law marriage is one of estoppel - meaning that parties who have told the world they are married should not be allowed to claim that they are not married in a dispute between the parties themselves.

    Currently, only 9 states (Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and the District of Columbia recognize common-law marriages contracted within their borders. In addition, five states have "grandfathered" common law marriage (Georgia, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania) allowing those established before a certain date to be recognized. New Hampshire recognizes common law marriage only for purposes of probate, and Utah recognizes common law marriages only if they have been validated by a court or administrative order.

    Among those states that permit a common-law marriage to be contracted, the elements of a common-law marriage vary slightly from state to state. The indispensable elements are (1) cohabitation and (2) "holding out." "Holding out" means that the parties tell the world that they are husband and wife through their conduct, such as the woman's assumption of the man's surname, filing a joint federal income tax return, etc. This means that mere cohabitation cannot, by itself, rise to the level of constituting a marriage. Of course, many disputes arise when facts (such as intentions of the parties or statements made to third parties) are in controversy.

    The United States Constitution requires every state to accord "Full Faith and Credit" to the laws of its sister states. Thus, a common-law marriage that is validly contracted in a state where such marriages are legal will be valid even in states where such marriages cannot be contracted and may be contrary to public policy.
     
  2. canadyjd

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    Where in scripture is there any mention of the requirement to be "married" in a church? In the 1st century, marriage was a simple contract between a man and woman.

    Where in scripture are pastors (or anyone else for that matter) given the "authority" to pronounce a man and woman "husband and wife"?

    If you look at the biblical examples it appears, IMHO, that when a man and woman live together and are intimate, they are man and wife.

    What are the implications? Hard to say.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  3. JustChristian

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    A common law marriage is just an excuse to live in sin. After a while the marriage is recognized by the state but not by God.
     
  4. Aaron

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    To understand common law marriage, one must understand common law, and how it differs from statutory law. That's where to go first, and this is no small task.

    Google Blackstone, "common law" and "natural law."

    Common law and natural law were what gave force to the American Revolution. In fact, common law is the "law of the land," in the United States, but it is being usurped in a long train of abuses through statutory law and the social engineering of godless rulers.
     
  5. Victorious

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    I agree with you. Where also do we draw the line between the scriptural term "fornication" and marraige? Historically ancient Israel did have a formal recognition of marriage. It usually began with an arrangement between the parents of the bride and groom. As far as I know, they did have a ceremony of some kind that was considered binding between the man, the woman and God.
     
  6. Victorious

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    I agree with your political stand but the real issue is what does GOD say about it since His laws supercede any law of man. What is the difference between fornication and common law marriage?
     
  7. canadyjd

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    How do you know what God has recognized as marriage? Since when do you get to speak for God?

    Show me from scripture the requirement to get church approval for a marriage, please.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  8. donnA

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    Common law marriage is not legal here. In research I did for this same topic on this board I found that states that have common law marriage you must tell people your married, you can not tell anyone otherwise, you can not claim to others you ahve a common law marriage, but that you are married, if you don't you do not have a legal common law marriage. Means you absolutely must lie in order have a common law marriage.
    Some peopel act as if anytime people shack up they are considered married by common law. Not only is this not scriptural, to live together out of wedlock, it cheapens real marriages.
     
  9. Victorious

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    I can't agree more. Thank you for this information and your thoughts. I think you did answer my question about fornication vs. recognized marriage. Does God recognize common law unions? I truly don't see that He would. What's to stop these couples from actually avoiding the "appearance of evil" and making public vows legally? This type of union (I hesitate to call it marriage) can cause others to stumble as well. I certainly wouldn't want my children to do this.
     
  10. JustChristian

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    I don't claim to speak for God. Where did you get that? I'm expressing my belief. How do you define marriage? Also, where did I say anything about getting church approval although I believe that Christians should get married in a church rather than at city hall.
     
  11. Aaron

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    You see? You don't understand common law marriage or you wouldn't have asked this question.

    Nor this one . . .
    And you don't understand common law marriage because you haven't a clue about common law.

    But as you seem to have your mind made up about the issue, I won't try to confuse you with the facts.
     
  12. canadyjd

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    You are assuming to speak for God when you tell us what God will recognize as marriage without backing it up with scripture. If you can back it up with scripture, then God has spoken for Himself, through His Word.
    Same as scripture. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." Gen. 2 or there about.

    When you leave your family and start your own, you are married. If you can show me otherwise in scripture, I'll be happy to look at it.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  13. canadyjd

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    Well, since you know it to be "unscriptural", you must have scripture to back up your assertions.

    Please show me from scripture where a man and woman must go to a church to get married? Or, please show me from scripture where a man and woman must must get the blessing of a pastor to be married?

    The closest thing you will find is the commandment to obey governments. And if governments recognize common-law marriages, you are not even violating that command.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  14. donnA

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    While reading the news forum I had a thought about this thread. If common law marriage were real marriage there'd be no problem with homosexuals living together and being called legitimatley married. This si what support of common law marriage really supports.
     
  15. Victorious

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    Thank you. A rude reply always wins friends and influences people.
     
  16. gb93433

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    Before the marriage was the betrothal which was indicated by the signing of a legal document and a dowry or bride price paid. In order for a betrothal to have been broken a divorce must have occured.

    All marriages were civil ceremonies not religious.
     
  17. Victorious

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    Except for the fact that the laws that consider only male/female unions as a marriage would still apply. Homosexual declarations, even in common law, would not be considered binding.
     
  18. Ed Edwards

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    Source quoted is noted in the O.P.:
    //Currently, only 9 states (Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and the District of Columbia recognize common-law marriages contracted within their borders.//

    Having been a citizen of Oklahoma for lo these last 50 years I say: Oklahoma does not have an effective common-law marriage. 30 years ago Oklahoma had a good law that should have helped women and children from preditor 'husbands' and 'fathers'. But the Legal profession killed the law. It is now useless. Sometimes one can 'prove' 'marriage' if they can get a good lawyer - if there are still records of it.

    This is part of a wider problem I find ministering to Widows and Orphans. Corruption in state (of the USofA) and local governments (and more pseudo-government entities than cooperation entities) is killing the soul of the USofA.
     
  19. canadyjd

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    You and I both know that homosexuality is condemned in scripture, therefore any attempt to legitimize homosexual "unions" by whatever name is contrary to the teachings of God.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  20. canadyjd

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    Those kinds of details vary from culture to culture.

    peace to you:praying:
     

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