Divorcing From a Common Law Marriage in Kentucky

23 Google Reviews

Divorcing From a Common Law Marriage in Kentucky

AdobeStock 121654723 1080x675

Did you know that Kentucky does not recognize common law marriage?

A common law or “de facto” marriage is when a couple lives together for a certain length of time and are regarded as “married” to family and friends, but never have an official ceremony or obtain a marriage license.

Only 16 states and the District of Columbia recognize common law marriage in the United States. Kentucky does not recognize common law but will recognize common law marriages if the state it was contracted in recognized common law marriage.

Because Kentucky does not recognize common law marriage, couples who have a common law marriage in Kentucky may not officially divorce through the Kentucky legal system or use Kentucky courts for other related issues.

When couples who have lived together and are commonly referred to as “married” decide to part ways in Kentucky, there are legal complications over who gets what possessions. If you do not have a marriage license, you will need to seek a lawyer to protect your rights and properties.

Unlike marriage, there are not implied matters about children and property in cohabiting relationships. For example:

  • One of the individuals does not automatically have the right to share business property, real estate property, or personal property owned by the other individual.
  • One individual does not automatically have the right to have the other’s property.
  • One individual does not automatically have the right to health insurance coverage on the other individual’s policy. If the couple has children together, the children can be covered by the health insurance.
  • One individual may not make health care decisions on behalf of the other individual if he or she is incapacitated without a valid Health Care Directive.

In addition, child support and custody rights do not apply to children of unmarried couples, even if they are married under common law. Property rights also do not exist specifically for cohabiting couples, even if the couple’s relationship closely resembles marriage in Kentucky.

It is best to seek a lawyer to pursue the following legal claims if an individual wishes to separate from a cohabiting relationship. An attorney can help with the following:

  • contract claims
  • partnership claims
  • Quantum Meruit claims
  • Constructive trusts or resulting trusts
  • Real estate concepts
  • Health care directives

Are you separating from a common law marriage or a long-term cohabiting relationship? For a free evaluation of your case and further information contact The Bryant Law Center at lawteam@bryantpsc.com.

Mark Bryant Profile

Mark Bryant

Kevin Shannon Profile

Kevin Shannon

Emily Roark Profile

Emily Roark

Our Reviews

Lisa Guill
Lisa Guill
Read More
Bryant Law has a team of experts, but they also make you feel comfortable and very important. They listen. Your case, even if it's small, is just as important as the larger cases they handle. You can rest assured you are in good hands. I'm grateful, thankful and couldn't be more pleased for their sense of urgency and our outcome.
Jeremy Hayes
Jeremy Hayes
Read More
As a parent of a child in a motor vehicle accident. Kevin Shannon did an amazing job. The team at Bryant Law Center is professional, knowledgeable, and compassionate. They did an excellent job and I would highly recommend them.
Donetta Dawdy
Donetta Dawdy
Read More
Everyone in the office that I have spoken with has been very nice. from the front desk to my lawyer Kevin to his assistant Mandy they all have been super amazing! From day one they have made sure I not only understand where we are at. But what is going on I get stuff in the mail as well as,phone calls. If I call and they are not able to talk. they do call back THAT DAY!! I have been very happy so far! Keep up the great work.

Talk for Free with One of Our Experienced Attorneys

We offer a free case evaluation to answer your questions, explain your options and examine the details of your case.

Our firm represents clients exclusively on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, we only receive payment if we can successfully secure compensation for your injuries.

Call our law firm or fill out a contact form online and schedule your free initial consultation. Our attorneys will fight for your best interests.

Get a Free Case Evaluation

No matter what kind of legal issue you are facing, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Call 270-908-0995 or complete our simple contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.

Fields Marked with an * are Required


The use of the internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Email The Bryant Law Center

Let Us Know
How We Can Help