Common Law Marriage

This state does not recognize common law marriage. She would not have any right to alimony unless you were legally married, regardless of how long you have been together.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My girlfriend and I have been physically living together for over a year now. We are not married, however we do have a beautiful 6 month old baby girl.

I am curious about “common law marriage” or whatever is it that happens after we continue to live together for years to come.

I read the “common law” FAQ, and see that at no point will she and I become legally married just because of living together.

But is there a point where she becomes legally entitled to thing because of this relationship? What if we separate after many years of living together (never having been legally married)? Would alimony come into the picture?

Thank you.