Issue: What is the status of common law marriage in Georgia?
|Area of Law:||Family Law|
|Keywords:||Common-law marriage; Legally recognized; Cohabitation|
|Cited Cases:||99 S.E.2d 352; 66 S.E.2d 226; 6 S.E.2d 687|
|Cited Statutes:||Ga. Code Ann. § 53-101|
Georgia recognizes common law marriages; but cohabitation without an agreement does not constitute such a marriage. Johnson v. Johnson, 96 Ga. App. 84, 99 S.E.2d 352 (1957). A marriage relationship arises out of the voluntary contract of the parties, whereby they mutually consent to thenceforth be husband and wife. It is not necessary that it be solemnized by a person in holy orders or in "facie ecclesiae." See Lefkoff v. Sicro, 189 Ga. 554, 6 S.E.2d 687 (1939) (discussing Ga. Code Ann. § 53-101).
In Georgia, therefore, the parties simply must live together under agreement of marriage; a formal ceremony is not necessary. Campbell v. Allen, 208 Ga. 274, 66 S.E.2d 226 (1951).