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Common-Law Marriage: Myths and Misunderstandings

22 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2011  

Rebecca Probert

University of Warwick - School of Law

Date Written: October 25, 2011

Abstract

This article investigates the source of the myth that prior to 1753 cohabiting couples would have been protected by a ‘common-law marriage’. It shows that neither the term nor the concept existed at the time and traces modern misunderstandings to the early nineteenth century. It goes on to suggest that the widespread but mistaken belief among modern cohabitants in the existence of ‘common-law marriage’ must also be of recent origin.

Keywords: family law, common-law marriage, cohabitation

Suggested Citation

Probert, Rebecca, Common-Law Marriage: Myths and Misunderstandings (October 25, 2011). Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 1-22, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1949048

Rebecca Probert (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - School of Law ( email )

Gibbet Hill Road
Coventry CV4 7AL, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
02476 524484 (Phone)
02476 524105 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/staff/academic/probert

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