Can one file for divorce and child support if its only a common law marriage? 10 Answers as of May 01, 2014

A year ago, I had lived on and off for 14 years with my ex girlfriend (mother of my 2 kids) and had helped raise her child from her previous relationship (her ex fiance of 7 yrs). We have purchased a couple of houses (owner financed) when we were separated and she had lived on her own for about 1 yr and a half at one point but we did file common law married on our taxes a few times (not all) but because we were told it was common law. Years later I found out it wasn't but my last attorney said it is because we filed together, even though everyone in our families knew we were not and she even told my kids she would never marry me. So it was a surprise that she has filed for a divorce from being an ex girlfriend and the reason she was only a girlfriend is that she would leave anytime I disagreed with her. Also, she ended up hitting me up with false back child support from ten years ago, even though she was a stay at home mom and lived with me most of the time. It’s a messed up situation. Also, I just found out she left me for a co-worker when I asked her to get a job, a couple weeks later. Also, my son does not want to stay with her and wants to love with me, again. But, my last attorney said it would cost $5,000. Can anyone help?

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James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
Michigan does NOT recognize common law marriages..Michigan will make parents pay child support to unwed parents..so if you have proof she was living with you and you were supporting her she should not get child support.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/1/2014
The Houser Law Firm, P.C.
The Houser Law Firm, P.C. | A. Bowden Houser
There is no common law marriage in North Carolina - so you can not get divorce because there was no marriage.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/1/2014
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
You can file a paternity case for child support.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/30/2014
Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
There is no common law marriage in Washington. However, if you lived together for 14 years you may have a basis for a dissolution of an intimate relationship. Because there are minor children a petition to establish a parenting plan and child support must be filed to allocate the support responsibilities and time with the children.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/30/2014
John Ceci PLLC
John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
Michigan has not recognized common law marriages since January 1, 1957. So you would have to be in your 70's (give or take) in order to have a valid common law marriage today. Otherwise you are not married. That being so it should be fairly simple to get a divorce case dismissed. Child support is different. If you have children you have an obligation to support them financially. The rest of the situation would require reviewing documents to try and sort it out.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/30/2014
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    Well she cannot ask for a Divorce if never legally married. So you will not have a chance of getting custody unless the children are yours.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
    Florida quit recognizing common law marriages in the 1970's.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    I don't know for sure. Idaho has abolished common-law marriage. You need to talk with your own family law attorney to figure out the situation. At a minimum, you will owe child support and I would imagine that if she worked and contributed to the household, there will have to be a splitting of assets and bills, even if you weren't married.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Frances An
    You can't file for divorce, because you were never married. But you can file what is called a UPA action for child support and custody. California does not recognize common law marriages. Some states do, however. But if you are in California, you are out of luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/30/2014
    Smith Law | Sharon K Smith
    Pennsylvania no longer recognizes common law marriages. Child support and custody would apply to your situation. Dividing the house would have to be done in civil division not domestic relations.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/30/2014
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