Does Las Vegas Have Common Law Marriage

Understanding the Concept of Common Law Marriage in Nevada

What is Common Law Marriage?

Before we dive into the specifics for Las Vegas, let’s first get a clear understanding of what common law marriage is. Common law marriage is where a couple lives together for a specific time and holds themselves out to friends, family, and the community as “being married,” but without going through a formal ceremony or getting a marriage license.

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Is Common Law Marriage Recognized in Las Vegas?

Now, to answer the main question – does Las Vegas, a city in the state of Nevada, recognize common-law marriages? The short answer is no. Nevada, and by extension Las Vegas, does not recognize common law marriages.

In Nevada, the only way to be legally considered married is to obtain a marriage license and have a marriage ceremony. It doesn’t matter how long a couple has been living together or if they think themselves married; the state does not consider them as such without these two vital steps.

But What if We Had a Common Law Marriage in Another State?

There’s one exception to remember. If you and your partner entered into a common law marriage in a state that does recognize it, like Colorado or Texas, and then moved to Nevada, your marriage might still be recognized by the state of Nevada. This is because of a legal principle called “full faith and credit,” which generally requires states to identify legal relationships, like marriages, formed in other states.

More About Common Law Marriage and Legal Marriage in Las Vegas

The Steps to Legal Marriage in Las Vegas

Since common-law marriage isn’t recognized in Las Vegas, let’s look at how a couple can legally marry in this city, known worldwide for its quick and easy weddings.

First, both parties must be at least 18 or have parental consent if they are 16 or 17. They cannot be closely related to each other.

They must obtain a marriage license from a Marriage License Bureau, such as the one in downtown Las Vegas. To do this, they must provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, and pay a fee.

After obtaining the license, the couple must have a legal marriage ceremony performed by someone authorized to do so, like a priest, rabbi, minister, or a justice of the peace.

Once the ceremony has been completed, the person who performed it must file the marriage certificate with the county to make it official.

Common Law Marriage in Other States

As we mentioned earlier, some states do recognize common-law marriages. In these states, a couple can legally marry if they have lived together for a certain period, usually several years, and “hold themselves out” as a married couple. This can include having the same last name, referring to each other as husband or wife, and filing joint tax returns.

However, even in states that recognize common-law marriage, the couple may still need to go to court to identify the marriage, especially if they decide to split up and can’t agree on how to divide their property.

Legal Help in Las Vegas

Whether you’re dealing with a divorce, child custody issue, or other family law matters, getting legal help can make the process smoother and less stressful.

At The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm, we specialize in helping Las Vegas residents with their divorce needs. We have the expertise to guide you through this challenging time and work towards the best possible outcome.

Remember, each legal case is unique and requires personalized advice. Always consult with a professional lawyer for your specific situation.

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Breaking It All Down for You

In conclusion, Las Vegas, Nevada, does not recognize common law marriages.

To be legally considered married in Nevada, a couple must obtain a marriage license and undergo a formal marriage ceremony.

However, if a couple had a valid common-law marriage in another state and then moved to Nevada, that marriage may be recognized.

Legal issues like these can seem complicated, but you don’t have to navigate them alone.

At The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm, we provide expert legal services for Las Vegas residents dealing with divorce and other family law matters.

Remember, for any legal concerns, always seek advice from a professional lawyer who can guide you based on your circumstances.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of a legal marriage over a common-law marriage?

Legal marriages provide a clear legal framework that can simplify matters such as property ownership, inheritance, tax filings, and access to benefits like health insurance. They are also universally recognized across all states, which is not always valid with common-law marriages.

Can a common law marriage be converted into a legal marriage?

Yes, a common-law marriage can be converted into a formal, legal marriage. The process typically involves obtaining a marriage license and undergoing a traditional marriage ceremony, as required by the state’s laws in which the couple resides.

Are there any states near Nevada that recognize common-law marriages?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the neighboring states of Utah and Colorado recognize common-law marriages. However, the specific requirements to establish a common-law marriage can vary by state.

How is property divided in a divorce if there was a common law marriage in another state?

If a couple had a valid common-law marriage in a state that recognizes such unions and then moved to Nevada, the property division in a divorce would typically follow Nevada’s community property laws. This means any property or income acquired during the marriage would generally be divided equally.

How does child custody work if parents have a common-law marriage?

In Nevada, whether parents are married or not doesn’t generally impact decisions about child custody. The courts will make decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of the child, considering factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the parent’s ability to provide for the child, and the child’s age and preferences.

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Common Law Marriage: This is an informal marriage where a couple lives together for a particular time and presents as a married couple to their community but never has a formal wedding ceremony or obtains a marriage license.

Legal Marriage: A marriage that is formally recognized by the state. It requires obtaining a marriage license and undergoing a formal ceremony.

Marriage License: A document issued by a governmental authority that allows two people to get married. In Nevada, a marriage license is required for a legally recognized marriage.

Marriage Ceremony: A formal event where two people become married. This can be religious or secular, but it must be performed by a person authorized by the state to perform marriages.

Full Faith and Credit: A legal principle that requires each state to recognize the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. This can apply to recognizing marriages, including common law marriages, formed in other states.

Divorce: The legal process of ending a marriage. This process can involve property division, child custody, and alimony.

Child Custody: A legal term that refers to the rights and responsibilities a parent has towards their child. In a divorce, decisions about child custody can be made by agreement between the parents or by a court.

Alimony: A financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other after divorce. This is also sometimes referred to as spousal support or maintenance.

Property Division: The process of dividing the assets and debts of a couple during a divorce.

Community Property Laws: Laws that say any income earned or property acquired during a marriage is owned equally by both spouses. Nevada is a community property state.

Remember, legal terms can have different meanings in different contexts and vary by jurisdiction. Always consult with a professional lawyer for specific legal advice.

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Additional Resources for You

Molly Rosenblum, Esq., our distinguished lead attorney, has not only been at the forefront of providing top-notch legal representation but has also taken the initiative to develop a suite of resources to assist you in navigating the complexities of family law. These resources, meticulously curated and available on the Rosenblum Law website, offer valuable insights and guidance across a wide spectrum of family law topics. Whether you’re facing a family legal matter or simply seeking information, these resources are designed to support and inform you during your time of need:

  1. Las Vegas Family Law Attorneys: A comprehensive guide to understanding family law in Las Vegas, providing you with the expertise needed to navigate these often complex legal matters. Explore the guide.

  2. Family Court Las Vegas: Essential information and guidance on dealing with family court proceedings in Las Vegas, helping you understand the process and what to expect. Learn about Family Court.

  3. Name Change Las Vegas: Navigate the legal process of changing your name in Las Vegas with this detailed guide. Begin the name change process.

  4. Nevada Power of Attorney: Learn how to legally assign decision-making power regarding your personal affairs through a power of attorney in Nevada. Get informed about Power of Attorney.

  5. How to File a Motion in Family Court: A step-by-step guide to preparing and filing a motion in family court, ensuring you understand each part of the process. Learn how to file a motion.

  6. Family Court Mediation: Understand the role and benefits of mediation in family court, a process aimed at resolving disputes efficiently and amicably. Explore mediation options.

  7. Unbundled Attorney: Discover how unbundled legal services can provide you with the specific legal support you need without the cost of full representation. Learn about unbundled services.

  8. Nevada Adoption: Navigate the adoption process in Nevada with this resource, providing you with the knowledge to understand the steps and legal requirements involved. Explore adoption in Nevada.

Molly Rosenblum, Esq., through these resources, endeavors to provide clarity and guidance, empowering you with the knowledge to handle your family law matters with confidence. We encourage you to utilize these resources as a valuable asset in your journey through the legal landscape of family law.

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Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

Here are offsite resources that can provide further insight into the legal topics of interest:

  1. American Bar Association – Family Law Section: This section of the American Bar Association’s website has a wealth of resources for understanding family law, including divorce and custody issues.

  2. FindLaw – Divorce: FindLaw’s Divorce section has a wide range of articles and resources on topics related to divorce, including property division, alimony, and more.

  3. Justia – Divorce: Justia provides an overview of divorce law, including state-specific resources and information about the legal process.

  4. National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges – Family Law Resources: This site offers resources and information to help families understand and navigate family law issues.

  5. DivorceNet by Nolo: Nolo’s DivorceNet provides articles, FAQ’s, and resources on a wide range of divorce-related topics, from the divorce process to post-divorce issues.

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A Special Message From Our Lead Attorney

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Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking the time to explore these resources. As you navigate these challenging times, please know you’re not alone.

Information is power, and by understanding your rights and options, you’re already taking significant steps toward shaping a better future.

Knowledge, however, is just one piece of the puzzle. Each situation is unique and deserves personalized attention and advice. That’s where my team and I come in.

At The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of family law with confidence and clarity.

If you’re ready to take the next step and discuss your situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at (702) 433-2889.

We’re here to listen, guide, and help you through this process.

We look forward to the possibility of working with you.


Molly Rosenblum, Esq.

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