What does common-law marriage mean?

Definitions for common-law marriage
com·mon-law mar·riage

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word common-law marriage.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. common-law marriagenoun

    a marriage relationship created by agreement and cohabitation rather than by ceremony


  1. common-law marriagenoun

    A marriage based on the duration of cohabitation rather than formal ceremony.


  1. common-law marriage

    A common-law marriage is a legally recognized union between two people who have not formally registered their relationship through a civil or religious marriage, but live together and present themselves as a married couple. This concept is recognized by some jurisdictions and typically requires cohabitation for a certain period of time along with other conditions. The specifics of what constitutes a common-law marriage can vary widely based on individual jurisdictions or countries.


  1. Common-law marriage

    Common-law marriage, and also known as sui juris marriage, informal marriage or marriage by habit and repute, is an irregular form of marriage that can be legally contracted in an extremely limited number of jurisdictions. Common-law marriage is different from non-marital relationship contracts, which involve two people living together without considering themselves each other's spouses or without legal recognition as spouses in the jurisdiction where the contract was formed. Non-marital relationship contracts are not necessarily recognized from one jurisdiction to another, whereas common-law marriages are legally valid marriages worldwide, as was historically the case under the common law of England. Yet, the term "common-law marriage" is sometimes used as a synonym for "non-marital relationship contract", as well as for domestic partnership and reciprocal beneficiaries relationship. Sui juris marriages may be recognized as one of these other interpersonal relationships in foreign jurisdictions, especially if the parties to a true common-law marriage are not able to prove that they conformed to the requirements to contract a common-law marriage in their home jurisdiction. Common law marriage is often contrasted with the ceremonial marriage.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce common-law marriage?

How to say common-law marriage in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of common-law marriage in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of common-law marriage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Translations for common-law marriage

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • unión de hechoSpanish
  • avoliittoFinnish
  • 事実婚Japanese
  • фактический брак, гражданский брак, незарегистрированный брак, сожительство, неформальный бракRussian

Get even more translations for common-law marriage »


Find a translation for the common-law marriage definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"common-law marriage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/common-law+marriage>.

Discuss these common-law marriage definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for common-law marriage? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a long narrow excavation in the earth
    • A. tingle
    • B. ditch
    • C. brasserie
    • D. breastwork

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for common-law marriage: