Haverhill, MA asked in Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for New Hampshire

Q: IS TITLE XLIIIDOMESTIC RELATIONSCHAPTER 457MARRIAGESProof of MarriageSection 457:39, a valid statute

I have recently lost my domestic partner of over 23 years. We were never formally married, but in my research into the matter I came across TITLE XLIII




Proof of Marriage

Section 457:39: 457:39 Cohabitation, etc. – Persons cohabiting and acknowledging each other as husband and wife, and generally reputed to be such, for the period of 3 years, and until the decease of one of them, shall thereafter be deemed to have been legally married.

Source. RS 149:11. CS 158:19. GS 161:16. GL 180:16. PS 174:15. PL 286:36. RL 338:39.

Is this statute in good standing and actionable? I would like to invoke our rights as a married couple under this law. Is that possible, and what is the process of going forward with such an action

1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph Caulfield
Joseph Caulfield
  • Lyndeborough, NH
  • Licensed in New Hampshire

A: Yes, the statute is valid.

This is NH's limited acknowledgement of common law marriages.

You can file in the probate court a petition for an intestate share of your partner's estate.

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