Common Law Marriage

This is a relationship having all the validity and commitment of a formal marriage.  It is not entered into without full consideration, by both parties, of all the implications involved.  It is in all respects a marriage without the legalistic formalities.  It cannot exist where there is a current legal bar to remarriage, nor can it be where there is less than five years from the dissolution of a previous common law marriage.  A de-facto relationship becomes a common law marriage after the partners have been able to maintain a marital relationship for no less than five years.