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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.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified elder lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local elder attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.