Tying the Knot or Not? The Ultimate Guide to Common Law Marriage in Arkansas

Common Law Marriage in Arkansas : A pair can be legally recognized as married even in the absence of a wedding ceremony or marriage license under the concept of common law marriage. The pair must generally cohabitate and exhibit themselves to others as a married couple.

Common Law Marriage in Arkansas
Common Law Marriage in Arkansas

Depending on the jurisdiction, common law marriage has different rights and obligations, although they frequently include inheritance rights, spousal support, and property rights. The state of Arkansas has never permitted a common law marriage, but in accordance with various common law marriage regulations governing foreign weddings, the state will recognize one anyway.

Common Law marriage can be proven and approved if couple proves that the sort of marriage is taken outside the boundaries of Arkansas, where the Common Law Marriage is legal.

The topic of common law marriage in Arkansas mostly affects couples who migrated there from other states and want their new state to recognize their union. This article will analyze the different options and whether it is possible to establish common law marriage in Arkansas.

What is Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage is a legally recognized type of marriage in some jurisdictions where a couple is legally married without obtaining a marriage license or participating in a formal ceremony, with specific conditions varying by jurisdiction.

Is a “common law marriage” recognized in Arkansas?

Common law marriage typically requires a couple to co-habitate, live together for a significant period, and intend to be married, demonstrating their intention to be in a marital relationship.

Is Common Law Marriage recognized by Arkansas?

A court may also assess the legitimacy of a common law marriage under the following circumstances, even though there are fewer rules in Arkansas regulating such unions than there are for marriage requirements: The marriage was consummated in a state and district that recognized such a union in accordance with their common law marriage laws and marital criteria, and the man and woman had executed power of attorney documents while in a relationship.

The court will take into account a number of considerations while determining whether a common law marriage in Arkansas is lawful in specific situations, such as a divorce or separation process. In Arkansas, the common law marriage is often taken into account by the court in the following ways:

  • The out-of-state jurisdiction has set guidelines and legislation regarding common law marriage.
  • The two parties did, in fact, live together in another state.
  • The court can decide when a certain form of marriage was truly declared.

Before declaring their common law marriage in Arkansas, two couples are often encouraged to execute the power of attorney forms if they want the state of Georgia to accept their common law marriage laws in an out-of-state jurisdiction.

According to common law marriage rules and significant court rulings, two couples would often create a durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney with the assistance of a trained legal advisor. 

In the event that spouses in a recognized common law marriage come to an agreement about the division of property and other marriage-related issues during a future divorce in a foreign country, the state of Arkansas may be able to accept such arrangements.

Common Law Marriage in Arkansas: Criteria and Eligibility

To enter a common-law marriage in Arkansas, you must be of legal age (18 years of age or older), not currently married, and not related to each other. You must also have the intent to be married and have lived together in Arkansas for a specific period. Factors such as living together, public presentation, and sharing finances and assets may influence your marriage.

To prove your marriage, you may need evidence like joint bank accounts, shared bills, or witness testimony. However, living together or having a romantic relationship does not automatically imply a common-law marriage, as you must also meet the legal requirements.

Exceptions to the provisions related to the Common Law Marriages 

Even though common law marriage is not permitted in Arkansas, there are several circumstances in which it may. According to Section 9-11-107 of the Arkansas common law marriage, any marriages contracted outside of Arkansas that would be legal under the laws of the country or state where the union was consummated and the parties were residing at the time would be recognized by all Arkansas courts.

If one tries to assert property rights after the passing of their “common law” spouse, this poses a serious challenge. As long as it adhered to all legal requirements, Arkansas’s marriage laws would likewise accept a common law marriage that occurred in a state that recognizes it. The cohabitation rules of Arkansas also apply here.

Arkansas’s Alternatives to Common Law Marriage

In Arkansas, common law marriage is not legal unless you can show that it happened in another state. Therefore, you must be aware of the options that can enable you to marry the love of your life. The primary alternative to common law marriage in Arkansas is covered here.

In Arkansas, a cohabitation agreement is a contract outlining the responsibilities and rights of two people who have decided to live together. Under normal circumstances, Arkansas law does not permit cohabiting couples to enjoy the same rights as married couples. However, this is now feasible thanks to the creation of a cohabitation agreement.

Whether in a short-term or long-term relationship, cohabiting unmarried individuals are not subject to Arkansas’s marital property rules. This usually has to do with who owns things that were acquired during cohabitation. Unlike married couples, unmarried cohabiting couples’ property is not clearly governed by the law.

While cohabitation allows for shared ownership of property, if the relationship ends there may be significant difficulties in dividing the property. Additionally, since cohabiting couples have no financial commitments, a separation could be more difficult for the spouse who is financially reliant.

Conclusion: Common Law Marriage in Arkansas

Although common law marriages have never been legal in the state of Arkansas, the state will nonetheless recognize one if it occurs in line with the different common law marriage laws that apply to weddings in other countries.

A common law marriage can be established and recognized if the couple can show that it took place outside of Arkansas, where such unions are permitted.

Couples who moved to Arkansas from other states and want their new state to recognize their union are primarily affected by the issue of common law marriage in Arkansas. 


What is common law marriage in arkansas?

Common law marriage is a legally recognized type of marriage in some jurisdictions where a couple is legally married without a marriage license or formal ceremony, with specific conditions varying by jurisdiction. It requires cohabitation, significant living together, and intention to be married.

How many years do you have to live together for common law marriage in Arkansas?

Arkansas law does not recognise common-law marriage, which means that living with your partner for years does not constitute marriage in the state. Arkansas does not recognise common-law marriages.

When did Arkansas stop recognizing common law marriage?

Arkansas does not recognise common-law marriages, except in certain circumstances. For instance, if a couple gained status in another state, such as Oklahoma, and signed power of attorney papers, Arkansas would recognise it as a “regular” marriage.

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