Issue: What is the status of common law marriage in Michigan?
|Area of Law:||Family Law|
|Keywords:||Common-law marriage; Legally recognized or abolished|
|Cited Cases:||10 N.W.2d 895; 90 Mich. App. 787; 282 N.W.2d 481; 121 Mich. App. 585|
|Cited Statutes:||Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 551.2|
Michigan abolished common law marriage on January 1, 1957. See Tigner v. Tigner, 90 Mich. App. 787, 282 N.W.2d 481 (1979); Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 551.2. But common law marriages that began before that date are still valid. There must have been an actual contract, the parties must have been able to contract, and the marriage must have been consummated according to the law at that time. In re Brack’s Estate, 121 Mich. App. 585, 329 N.W.2d 432 (1982).
When parties who have agreed to live together as husband and wife in a state in which common law marriages are prohibited move to a state in which such marriages are recognized, a valid common law marriage exists without any renewal of agreement, and Michigan will recognize such a marriage, as it will recognize a valid common law marriage from another state. Gamma v. Kettle, 10 N.W.2d 895, 306 Mich. 308 (1994).