Common-Law Marriage on the FAFSA

on February 14, 2017

A couple in a common-law marriage is considered married on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), even if the couple moves to a state that does not recognize common-law marriage.

 

To be married under a common-law marriage, the couple must:

  • Intend to be married
  • Live together for a significant amount of time
  • Hold themselves out to be married
  • Have a reputation in the community as married

The couple must also have the legal and mental capacity to be married. For example, the couple must be over the legal age to be married and neither can be married to someone else.

 

Common-Law Marriage States

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia (if married before Jan. 1, 1997)
  • Idaho (if married before Jan. 1, 1996)
  • Iowa
  • Kansas (both must be age 18 or older at the time of marriage)
  • Montana
  • Ohio (if married before Oct. 10, 1991)
  • Oklahoma (if married before Nov. 1, 1998)
  • Pennsylvania (if married before Jan. 1, 2005)
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas (called an informal marriage)
  • Utah (only if validated by a court order)

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