Common-Law Marriages

MYTH: If you live with your significant other for a certain amount of years, you are considered married through common-law marriage.

FACT: Missouri does not recognize common-law marriages.

Missouri Statute 451.040 says that “[c]ommon-law marriages shall be null and void”, meaning the marriage has no legal effect.

However, there has been Missouri case law that has recognized common-law marriages contracted either before 1921 or contracted in another state that recognizes such marriage as valid.