Do we have to get a legal divorce if we are common law partners and is now filing for bankruptcy? 10 Answers as of November 04, 2016

My girlfriend and I filed for bankruptcy. They asked if we considered our self-common in law. We said yes but we are now going out separate ways.

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
A common law marriage must be terminated by a divorce or dissolution just like any other marriage.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/4/2016
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
I do not know which state your are in. California does not recognize common law marriages. You need to seek the advice of local counsel.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/2/2016
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
Nevada does not recognize common law marriages. If you entered into the common law relationship outside of Nevada in a state which does recognize common law marriages, then you are married and may file bankruptcy together. To dissolve this legal marriage would require a decree of divorce from a court.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/2/2016
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
In Nevada, you do not because Nevada does not recognize common law marriages.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/2/2016
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
There is no such thing as common law marriage in California. If you are not legally married then there can be no divorce. In my opinion, you each need to file a separate bankruptcy case if that is appropriate. Please go see a local knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney before filing anything.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/2/2016
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    There is no common law marriage in California. You should have filed separately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2016
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Nevada does not have common law marriages. So if you are filing bankruptcy and Nevada there is no need to get a divorce. When would not be granted to you as you are not married.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/2/2016
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    The answer depends on whether the state in which you live recognizes common-law marriages. Wisconsin, for example, has a law which says it does not recognize them. (There are some practical exceptions however.) So if you live in Wisconsin, it's unlikely that you'd need to go to Court to do a divorce. (If you want to be 100% scrupulous, you could file an action 'to affirm marriage,' in which you state that you want the Court to determine that you are not married. If you said at your meeting of creditors that you two were married 'common law,' and that is no longer the case, the You-or, better, your lawyer-should notify the Court of the change in status. It could make some difference in, for example, a Chapter 13 case, and sometimes also in a Chapter 7. But the main thing is to be truthful, and that means correcting mistakes, or notifying the court of significant changes. Find a skilled bankruptcy lawyer: it's almost always worth the investment.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/2/2016
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/2/2016
    OlsenDaines | Rex Daines
    The court should have required you to file 2 separate bankruptcies. Maybe the trustee decided it was a meaningless requirement so they let the bankruptcy go through as a joint case. In any event, the answer is NO. You do not need to go through the divorce process.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/2/2016
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