Q: When Georgia allowed common law marriage, BEFORE 1997, what was the criteria for establishing a GA common law marriage
A: A common law marriage is valid in Georgia only if the relationship was entered into prior to January 1, 1997.
There are three requirements for a valid common law marriage:
1. The parties must have the capacity to enter into a contract;
2. The parties must have an actual contract which can simply be an agreement to live together as husband and wife, hold themselves out to be married, and all of their friends, relatives, and everyone else must believe they are married; and
3. The parties must consummate the agreement according to law which is to engage in sexual relations.
There was no statutory length of time the parties had to be in the relationship before it would be valid.
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