Common Law Marriage Mississippi: Meaning, Legal Rights and Obligations

Common Law Marriage Mississippi

Up to 1956, common-law marriage regulations permitted this kind of union. Mississippi no longer recognizes common-law marriages, and up until recently, the court would not entertain settlements involving property splits.

Common law marriage is still illegal in Mississippi, but under certain conditions, a judge may now recognize a marriage during a divorce or settlement process. We shall go into further detail about Mississippi common law marriage, Mississippi marriage standards, and Mississippi common law marriage proof in this article.

Common Law Marriage:

A small number of states permit common-law marriages. A legally recognized union between two individuals who did not acquire a marriage license or have their union formally sealed with a ceremony is known as a common law marriage. Additionally, not every state has laws about marriage under common law. Validity is determined in certain states by public policy and case law.

Legal Terms Used to Define Common Law Mississippian marriage

Each state has its legal definition of a common-law marriage. In Mississippi, a common-law marriage is a legally binding union that is legally recognized by the general public.

A marriage requires consent, public identification, shared bank accounts, and the same last name. Unions established before 1957 are recognized, and permits are required.

MS Requirements for Marriage

The state’s marriage laws forbid unions under the following kinds of circumstances:

  1. Permanent impotence
  2. Judged incapacity or mental disease of one or both parties (in such a circumstance, a friend or guardian may launch a claim within six months following the marriage)
  3. When one or both parties are too old or incapable of giving their assent to a marriage
  4. There was coercion or fraud involved in the marriage.
  5. A pregnancy that the wife had with someone else if the husband was unaware of it
  6. A son is prohibited from getting married to his lawfully adopted daughter, grandmother, mother, stepmother, granddaughter, or first cousin by blood.
  7. No parent may wed the widow of his son, the daughter of his wife, the grandchild, the daughter-in-law, or the niece (all of these restrictions apply to females in the same degree).
  8. The same-sex
  9. If both sets of parents or legal guardians approve, anyone under the age of 17
    As you can see, common law marriage rules will recognize this sort of marriage under some conditions, but marriage requirements prohibit many other types of marriage.

Legal Responsibilities and Rights

In Mississippi, a common-law marriage confers the same rights and responsibilities on a spouse as a formal marriage. However, when it comes to family law, property, and inheritance issues, these rights and duties are essential.


In Mississippi, intestacy rules govern the distribution of a person’s possessions upon death in the absence of a will. However, a person’s spouse has the same inheritance rights as if they were legally married if they are in a common-law marriage. It is possible that the spouse will not receive any of the decedent’s assets if they are not married by common law.


Property ownership can be problematic in a common-law marriage. There is no such thing as communal property in Mississippi law. Rather, any asset possessed jointly by the pair needs to be substantiated as belonging to both of them. The onus is on the former common-law spouse to establish their ownership interest in any property they claim to be the rightful owner of. One way to accomplish this is by providing proof of their involvement with the property, like house improvements or mortgage payments.

Family Law Issues:

Common-law partners in Mississippi have the same rights and responsibilities under the law about their kids as married couples. This implies that they can legally file for divorce, request child support, and ask for child custody or visitation.

In the event of a divorce, common-law spouses are not eligible for spousal support or alimony. The couple has to be legally married and have a divorce decree to be eligible for alimony.

Verifying a Mississippi Common Law Marriage

In Mississippi, it can be hard to prove a common-law marriage, and the proof needed varies depending on the judge and court hearing the case. However several important pieces of evidence could support the establishment of a common-law union.

The couple’s actions are the first piece of evidence. The pair needs to share expenses, live together, and publicly identify as a married pair. Using the same last name, filing taxes jointly, and maintaining joint bank accounts are a few examples of this.

The couple’s intention is the second piece of evidence. To get married, the couple needs to agree. You can demonstrate this by presenting supporting documentation, like joint bank accounts or a joint leasing agreement.

Testimony from witnesses constitutes the third element of evidence. Witnesses may provide testimony regarding the actions of the couple, including calling one another “husband and wife” and partaking in customary activities for married couples.

In summary:

In Mississippi, a legally recognized type of marriage is known as common law marriage. An agreement to be married and a public declaration of marital status are prerequisites for the establishment of a common-law marriage. When it comes to family law issues, property rights, inheritance rights, and other legal obligations, common-law spouses are equal to married couples in all respects.

However proving a common law marriage is not always easy, as the proof needed varies according on the judge and court handling the case. Seeking legal counsel, couples contemplating a common-law union should be aware of their rights and responsibilities.


How long does a relationship take to qualify as a common-law marriage?

California is not one of the states that accepts common-law unions. This implies that unless you go through the process of becoming legally married in California, you will not have the rights and privileges of a married couple, regardless of how long you live with a partner.

How long is a Mississippi common law marriage valid?

Mississippi no longer recognizes common law marriage; therefore problems can occur when a couple decides to part ways after living together without the advantages of marriage. Furthermore, the allocation of property or the determination of child custody are two examples of such matters.

Does common-law marriage qualify for IRS recognition?

If the state where the taxpayers reside recognizes a common-law marriage, it counts toward federal income tax purposes. For federal income tax purposes, the taxpayers remain married even if they later relocate to a state that does not recognize common-law marriages.

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