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Posted on in Domestic Partnership

common law marriage, Kane County family law attorneyStatistics from around the country, over the last several decades, show a marked increase in the number of couples living together prior to—and often in lieu of—getting legally married. Relationship experts have a number of theories regarding why so many couples of all ages are choosing to cohabitate, including a hesitance regarding commitment and more jaded view of marriage among certain demographics. Whatever their reasons may be, a couple who lives together for a long period of time may come to see themselves as essentially married. Some states, in fact, may even recognize such a relationship as a common law marriage, granting legal rights and responsibilities to each partner. In Illinois, however, common law marriages are not recognized.

Brief History of Common Law Marriage

By most accounts, common law marriage traces its roots to medieval western Europe. A couple wishing to get married could not always travel to a cleric or justice to formalize their marital contract. As a result, the couple would simply begin living as a married couple in all aspects of life. The practice continued as settlers reached the New World, most often, again, as the result of geographic isolation and a lack of formal legislation.

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