Is Common Law Marriage Legal In Washington State?

Yeah, I was one of those people who lived with my girlfriend for seven years before we got married and a lot of family members kept saying we were "common law" married.


How Does A Common Law Marriage Work If You Move To Washington State?

You know common law marriage is a topic that often brings up confusion and misunderstanding.

Many people believe that if a couple lives together for a certain amount of time, they are automatically considered married under common law.

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However, this is not the case in every state.

I thought I'd break down the legalities of common-law marriage in Washington State. It might surprise you that only 8 states recognize a common-law marriage and Montana and Colorado are two of them.

It is important to note that Washington State does not recognize common-law marriage.

This means that simply living together for an extended period does not automatically grant a couple the same legal rights and protections as a formally married couple.

To be legally married in Washington State, couples must obtain a marriage license and have a formal ceremony officiated by a licensed individual.

That being said, there are some exceptions in Washington State when it comes to recognizing relationships that may resemble common-law marriages.


Washington State has never permitted domestic common law marriage; but like all 50 states and the District of Columbia, they recognize all validly contracted out-of-state marriages, including validly contracted common law marriages.

Common law marriage is not allowed in Washington State, there are still ways for couples who have been living together for an extended period to establish some legal rights through the courts.

However, it is always recommended for couples to go through the formal process of obtaining a marriage license and having a ceremony if they want their relationship officially recognized by the state.

If you have any questions about common law marriage or marriage laws in Washington State, it is best to consult with a legal professional who can provide you with guidance tailored to your specific situation.

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