Monday, December 12, 2011

Common Law Marriage in Idaho - (208) 472-2383 - Boise Divorce Attorneys

Common Law Marriage in Idaho

As a Boise Divorce Attorney I work frequently within the world of the Idaho Family Law Statute. Idaho Code Chapter 32 deals with Domestic Relations. It covers everything from marriage, illegal marriage, divorce and the grounds for divorce to the parent child relationship in terms of custody and visitation as well as community property.

The Family Law Statute has changed over time. One specific example of this change has to do with common law marriage. At one point in Idaho history, the state recognized common law marriage. As of January 1, 1996 Idaho no longer does. If you were common law married before that date, meaning you put yourself out as a married couple a court would still consider you married and you can file for divorce in Idaho and have your property and debt which were acquired during marriage be treated as community property.

What does it mean to put yourself out there as being married? A Boise Divorce Lawyer would present evidence to the court that showed you treated your relationship as one of a marriage, not just co-habitation. Examples of evidence an attorney might use to prove this might be filing joint tax returns, being claimed as a spouse on health insurance, purchasing a home together or telling people that you were married. However, having children together and co-habitating do not necessarily reach the level of evidence needed to prove marriage.

Why would your divorce lawyer want to prove that you were married? That family law statute that I mentioned above provides protection for married couples called community property. If you were living together, but were not married and one party worked and the other stayed home and the one that worked used their money to pay for the house and to pay for the car and all the other goodies, if they ever split up the person who paid for everything would get it all. Now that may be fine for the person who worked but the person who stayed home and took care of the house and the kids would get nothing.

Community property recognizes that it is a community effort to build the community and therefore it rewards each individual equally in terms of value.

If there were children to the common law marriage how custody and visitation would be determined for those children would be the same whether it was ultimately decided that a common law marriage did or did not exist. The parties would be ordered to mediation and if they could not agree on a custody arrangement both divorce lawyers would present evidence to show why their client is the party best suited to be the custodial parent or why it would be in the best interest of the child to have primary physical custody with one parent or the other. Ultimately, using requirements outlined in that family law statutes I spoke about above, an Idaho judge would determine what is in the best interest of the child.

Ultimately, if you are married and are going through divorce in Idaho or you are going through divorce in Idaho and have children or simply have children together in Idaho and are splitting up, you too will enter the world of the family law statute.

If you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Attorney or a Custody Lawyer, please give us a call at (208) 472-2383 and see what we can do for you.

3 comments:

  1. Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such informative stuff.LA Mediation Lawyer

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  2. If the relationship began in CA in 1995 as a dating relationship which progressed to a husband/wife relationship without legal union, will the relationship between considered common law in Idaho today? Partners share credit cards, ownership of vehicles, a mobile home titled jointly, and have represented as husband and wife. Would the non-working partner be eligible to collect Social Security survivors benefits?

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  3. If the relationship began in CA in 1995 as a dating relationship which progressed to a husband/wife relationship without legal union, will the relationship between considered common law in Idaho today? Partners share credit cards, ownership of vehicles, a mobile home titled jointly, and have represented as husband and wife. Would the non-working partner be eligible to collect Social Security survivors benefits?

    ReplyDelete