And if a common-law couple decides to break up even if there is no “common law divorce,” they still have to legally dissolve their relationship. This is the fact that a person in a common-law marriage might be required to provide his or her ex-spouse with the same type of alimony that a person must provide in a legally binding marriage after divorce. Marriage does not automatically transfer the property of the spouses to both names. However, most property and pensions acquired during the marriage (with the exception of estates, parts of bodily injury, property held separately before the marriage, and gifts from others) is treated as property of both spouses in the event of divorce. State and federal laws grant married people many different rights over each other`s property, pensions, and insurance in the event of divorce or death. However, if you choose to invest property only in your spouse`s name or title your property before marriage in both names, this can reduce your legal right in the event of divorce. Virginia generally applies the concept of equitable distribution to all property acquired by the parties from the date of marriage, regardless of how ownership of that property is held. In most cases, you cannot disinherit your spouse without your spouse`s consent, for example by waiving a marriage, marriage or property settlement agreement. If you die without a will, your entire estate will pass to your spouse under Virginia law, unless you have children from a previous marriage.
If you and your spouse die without a will, your minor children`s share of your estate may be related to guardianship and may not be readily available for support and education. After marriage, you can change your last name to that of your spouse, but you are not required to do so by law. You can also use a surname with a hyphen after marriage. However, if you want to change your name and records and later revert to a previous name, you will need to apply to the district court for the city or county where you live for a legal name change. You can also resume the use of your old name in divorce proceedings. The majority of states limit people to one living husband or wife at a time and do not issue marriage licenses to anyone with a living spouse. Once a person is married, they must be legally released from the relationship by death, divorce or annulment before they can remarry. Other limitations for individuals include age and close relationships. In all cases, it is the applicant`s responsibility to prove that they have entered into a valid marriage with their spouse with U.S. citizenship during the required period.
 In most cases, a marriage certificate is prima facie evidence that the marriage was consummated properly and legally. Couples leaving the state where they entered into a common law marriage should be aware that all states recognize a common law marriage that a couple has legally entered into in another state. Nevertheless, after the move, they may want to sit down with a lawyer in their new state to ensure that they meet the legal obligations required to maintain their rights as a married couple. Keeping good records, especially if they move a lot, can help take advantage of federal benefits. It`s never too early to write a will. Even if you are young or have only a small fortune, it is advisable to consult a lawyer about estate planning. It doesn`t matter how much you have, but where you want your property to pass on after your death. Good estate planning will help protect your family from unnecessary financial hardship that may arise after your death.
If you are married, it is a violation of the criminal law to voluntarily have sex with someone other than your spouse. This is called “adultery.” Even if adultery is not prosecuted as a crime, it is a ground for divorce and, in some cases, can affect the granting of spousal support, the division of property, and the sharing of attorneys` and court costs. There are no obligations arising from living together, unless there is an express, informal or written agreement. Unmarried couples can apply these agreements, which express agreement in the relationship on support or finances based on the principles of the contract. If a state recognizes marriage at common law and a couple does not want to be considered married, they must sign a cohabitation contract – especially if they own property together or use the same surname. A de facto marriage is a de facto marriage of two people who consider themselves married without ceremony or formal license and claim to be married. Such agreements are not marriages in Virginia, but they are recognized here if they were valid in the state where they took place and if they were between persons who would have been entitled to marriage under Virginia law. As a married couple, you can file a joint tax return with the federal and state governments if you were married at the end of the tax year. A joint return can often save you money, but its benefits depend on each couple`s individual financial situation.
Some married taxpayers would be better off filing separate tax returns. Consult a tax professional on these issues. As a result, during a period during which the spouses are legally separated, an applicant does not live in a conjugal union with a spouse with U.S. citizenship.  An applicant who is legally separated from his or her spouse during the period during which he or she is required to live in a conjugal union is not entitled to naturalize as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. In marriage, the spouses are mutually responsible for the maintenance of the other. Circumstances may arise in which one of you may be compelled to support the other. You both need to be aware of this when determining your respective roles in the marital relationship. Usually, the question of this maintenance obligation arises only at the time of separation or divorce, and at that time the court will consider the history of the marriage, as well as who was to blame for its failure.
If one of you has been placed in a situation of financial dependence through marriage, the partner may be informed of the income or financial means needed to contribute to the support of the financially dependent partner. Therefore, even if a marriage is to be built on faith, both spouses must carefully consider the plans for each of their respective roles in the marriage and the possible consequences of this agreement in the event of separation or divorce. The concept of de facto marriage presupposes an honest and good faith intention of two people who can marry freely to live together as husband and wife from the beginning of the relationship. Some States recognize ordinary marriages and consider married parties.  For a common law marriage to be valid for immigration purposes: In many jurisdictions, marriage requires that they be married by an ordained minister or another person who has recognized the power to solemnize a legal marriage. This can be done either in a religious setting or in a non-denominational or secular environment such as a city hall or courthouse. Here, a marriage certificate is issued and officially registered. In the United States, most states require a legal marriage in order for a couple to enjoy spousal benefits such as filing a joint tax return, sharing financial accounts, etc.
Couples recognized as married under the common law enjoy many of the same benefits as legally married couples, provided they have lived in a state that recognizes the common law for most of their marriage. These benefits include: When a married couple buys a house or other property together, they usually buy it as “tenants,” meaning that if one of them dies, the other automatically becomes the owner of the entire property and is not subject to inheritance tax or probate proceedings at that time. If a “tenant as a whole” is individually indebted and the spouse does not co-sign the loan, the property is free from the claims of these creditors. The validity of a foreign divorce depends on the interpretation of the divorce laws of the foreign country that granted the divorce and the reciprocity laws in the U.S. state where the plaintiff remarried.  If the divorce is not final under foreign law, the remarriage to a U.S. citizen is not valid for immigration purposes.  Any child born while the mother is married is born in marriage, even if conceived before marriage or by a third party. In addition, the child becomes legitimate if the child`s parents marry after birth. Children are legitimate even if they come from an illegal marriage (for example, a bigamous marriage) or a marriage that is dissolved or annulled.
Whether or not a child is legitimate has fewer consequences before the law than in previous years. In all cases, a parent has a legal obligation to provide for his or her children. Marriage is the most important human relationship legally recognized and sanctioned. It has many rights and obligations. It is rare for people to consult a lawyer before marriage, probably because a marriage is entered into on the basis of love and faith in each other, and not on the basis of cleverly negotiated and written legal documents.