The common marriage law and the prenuptial agreements both are quite different owing to the difference in the source of their origin. Common marriage law has come with the change in the society and consequently changes in the relationship between a man and a woman. It is a more casual form of marriage as compared to the traditional one. The prenuptial agreement is a more formal form of an agreement that has been there from ages. It is a traditional agreement between a man and a woman who are about to get married. We will discuss both these modern and traditional aspects with relation to marriage over here.
A man and woman can enter into a common law marriage if they have stayed in the same house for a considerable period of time. Both must have shared the duties and responsibilities like a husband and wife, for example filing for the same tax return, using the same surname, sharing other bills etc., and they must also recognize each other as husband and wife socially as well as personally. The common law marriage is not a marriage license but is legally recognized equivalent to a marriage. Some states in America recognize the common law marriage while others do not. Some states require cohabitation a requirement for this law but the time period of the cohabitation is ruled by the law.
Prenuptial marriage on the other hand is a legal agreement that is signed by both the partners which states their legal and domestic obligations in the marital relationship. Such an agreement is created so that couples understand and realize their responsibilities towards each other and can have a healthier relationship. This agreement also comes in use when the marital relation gets dissolved, due to some reason, or either of the partners die. The pre nuptial agreement then states how the property and other assets will be dissolved based on the circumstances that led to the dissolution of marriage or in an event of death of either of the partner.
For people who intend to protect their assets and liabilities in case the common law marriage ends, they can write and sign an agreement stating the terms and conditions for the same. However in some states the common marriage law is not recognized so people who live in these states must consult a good divorce attorney and a family lawyer before implementing any such desire legally.
Having a pre nuptial agreement before the common law marriage will serve many purposes. It will be a household rule for you and your partner in your marital relationship. It will also serve as a judgment ground for the division of all pre marital property and pre marital debts. It is however suggested that you take the advice of a divorce lawyer in this regard. Divorce lawyers know all the legal aspects so their opinion must be considered.