Does Social Security recognize common law marriage for the purpose of paying survivors and spouse`s benefits?

Social Security follows the laws of the State where the couple reside. Many States do not honor common-law marriages, so you should check local laws. However, most States (even those in which a man and woman could not enter into a valid common-law marriage) will generally recognize a common-law marriage validly entered into in another State.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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