Oklahoma Common Law Marriage

We often have potential clients asking for quotes about their Oklahoma Home Insurance Policies, and one question we always ask them in response is, “Are you married or single?” . Many times the client responds with, well we’re common law married.

BIG NEWS…. Oklahoma only honors a common law marriage if the couple declared they were married prior to November 1, 1998! Insurance wise, we cannot give a married discount for common law couples if they have been “married” after November 1, 1998. This is very important. If the couple believes they’re married, only to find they aren’t, this could cause problems.

In 2005, the Oklahoma Senate tried to pass a bill banning common law marriages. It did not pass, but the controversy over the validity or the marriage has not died. Thus, if a couple is claiming to be married and have only been together for three years, that marriage is not valid and is not recognized by the state of Oklahoma. The couple must have a marriage license, a marriage ceremony, and in the presence of a witness with a legal authorized person performing the ceremony.

So Oklahoma Common Law Marriages are honored. But they are only considered valid if the couple was “married” prior to 11/1/1998.


2 thoughts on “Oklahoma Common Law Marriage

  1. I am an attorney in Broken Arrow. The statement that Common Law marriages are recognized if occurring prior to 1998 is absolutely incorrect. Common law marriages are still recognized in Oklahoma, and may still be entered if all the elements are met.

    • Thank you for pointing this out from a legal standpoint. And the reason we did post this blog, was because in our required insurance classes, our instructors have told us that Common Law marriages are no longer being acknowledged in Oklahoma. However, after reading your comment & doing even further research it appears the Courts have been in dispute about Common Law marriages being formed after 11/1998 and whether they are recognized as legally married. The part people seem to forget about is if “all the elements are met”. We did recently have a client tell us her mother was Common Law married. Her mother & “husband” had split & they went to court because her mother was seeking her half of the assets. The judge told her Oklahoma did not acknowledge Common Law marriages. So it appears, it depends on the Court, the Judge, and who you’re dealing with when it comes to acknowledging a Common Law marriage. In the insurance industry, it is very tricky! Thanks again for your input. We’ll certainly be more careful about being absolute when saying it’s not recognized in Oklahoma.

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