There's nothing quite like having someone you love that loves you back in a long-term relationship. In some states, after 7 years together, you are common law marriage. What about Missouri? Is there common law marriage in the Show Me State? The answer is both yes and no. It's complicated.

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I am neither a lawyer or a justice of the peace in case you're wondering, so real legal advice is not something I'm giving you. I have done some research for you, but if you need to really know, talk to a real lawyer.

First, let's define what common law marriage is...

The National Conference of State Legislatures says common law marriage is "a legally recognized marriage between two people who have not purchased a marriage license or had their marriage solemnized by a ceremony". For most states, that's 7 years together.

Binge Society via YouTube
Binge Society via YouTube

Missouri does not have a common law marriage law, but...

So you're saying there's a chance?

The Missouri Department of Social Services says there's a way. The state says "If a common law marriage was established in another state, each partner is considered a spouse in Missouri."

Great news, couples! If your relationship has been recognized as a common law marriage in another state and then you move to Missouri, you're still hitched! Winning!

This is one of the many circumstances where my birth state of Missouri confuses me. You say it's fine if someone gets married common law in another state, but you won't allow it within the state if it starts there?

Never stop being you, Missouri.

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