Common law marriages


#1

I read in the paper last night that Pope Benedict XVI may approve common law marriages between man and woman. Do you have any details on this?


#2

I don’t know about what the pope might say, but common law marriage is no longer recognized in the United States. A couple can cohabit forever and the legal obligations attached to a marriage are enforcable no longer . Free love is really free. No ties that bind. A cohabiting couple have no more claim over one another than what might arise from a quickie in the park after dark.


#3

[quote=Rebecca New]I read in the paper last night that Pope Benedict XVI may approve common law marriages between man and woman. Do you have any details on this?
[/quote]

The secular press always has to be viewed with caution. It does not always understand who says what and with what authority or intention. Often it doesn’t care.

Benedict XVI signalled his belief in June that this would devalue the institution of marriage.

Cardinal Ruini raised the question in so far as the acknowledgement would be for purely civil purposes in Italian civil law, namely child care and certain social benefits. Cardinal Ruini is the vicar for the Diocese of Rome and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, but is not speaking for the Roman Pontiff. (I note MSNBC blithely speaks of a change in Vatican policy. This is incorrect and misleading. It is before the Italian Bishops’ Conference and not the Holy See.)

Clearly too, it is a hotly contested point among the cardinals in Italy. The Catholic News Service has an item worth seeing:
cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=39643

Again, I reiterate the context is within the discussion of Italian civil law, and not canon law. It would not at all envision extending the presumption that these would be valid sacramental marriages, recognized for such a purpose in the Church.

In that sense, it is not unlike what the Church does now. It recognizes the effects in civil law for the marriage of the divorced and civilly remarried but not the canonical validity of such a marriage.


#4

[quote=rwoehmke]I don’t know about what the pope might say, but common law marriage is no longer recognized in the United States. A couple can cohabit forever and the legal obligations attached to a marriage are enforcable no longer . Free love is really free. No ties that bind. A cohabiting couple have no more claim over one another than what might arise from a quickie in the park after dark.
[/quote]

that is not necessarily the case in Texas, better check your sources. Not seeing the article in question I can’t comment, but hazard a guess the Pope is addressing peculiarities in Italian Civil Law.


#5

[quote=puzzleannie]that is not necessarily the case in Texas, better check your sources. Not seeing the article in question I can’t comment, but hazard a guess the Pope is addressing peculiarities in Italian Civil Law.
[/quote]

In fact, I can tell you for sure that common law marriage is valid in Texas. I am a lawyer who has practiced in Texas and other states for many years. I can confirm that common law marriage is unquestionably valid in the State of Texas as of today. This has been the law for many years and will be into the future. There have been no attempts to change this. However, living together alone does not a common law marriage make. Also, I believe that there are still several other states which allow common law marriage.


#6

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