One of the reasons is that people choose riskier partners when cohabiting, because they think civil marriage will be easier to break up. However, once a couple is living together, the fact that they share possessions, pets, children, and have invested time in their relationship may propel them to marry.
Civil marriage can make people less religious, may encourage them to develop problematic relationship skills and to spend less time resolving problems or providing support to their partners.
In spite of the negative statistics and attitude to living together without the marriage certificate, such unions exist, and it means that this way of life makes sense. Speaking about common law marriage, we should understand clearly that there are two types of them. The "traditional" common law marriage is one, which is entered into without formalities. This type of marriage is usually defined as the intent to be married, combined with living together and holding one's self out to the world as married. Another type of common law marriage is represented by the situation, where a valid marriage is formed from an invalid marriage after the impediment is lifted. In this article we talk about the "traditional" form of common law marriage.
This type of marriages is recognized in Alabama, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Texas.
The elements of a common-law marriage vary slightly from state to state. The indispensable elements are:
1. You must live together.
2. You must present yourselves to others as a married couple. Some ways of doing this are: using the same last name, referring to one another as husband or wife, and filing a joint tax return.
3. Although not defined, you have to be together for a significant period of time.
4. You must intend to be married.
Common-law marriage is not formally recorded, and living in civil marriage you will not get the marriage certificate. These two negative essential things also play against this type of marriage, which is rather considered as cohabitation. You will never find in the marriage records whether you partner has had a civil marriage. For some people it is very important to have a real wedding ceremony that proves their union of two loving hearts, to be added to the state marriage records and to receive a wedding certificate. Marriage certificate proves the fact this union is serious, it gives the wife and the husband the feeling of reliability and confidence. In some formal cases marriage certificate has an important role, and we should not forget about it.