When a ceremonial marriage is alleged, accompanied by cohabitation and repute, a presumption
arises that there was, in fact, such a marriage. Apply the presumption of ceremonial
marriage only when neither preferred nor secondary proof of marriage can be obtained. The presumption
cannot be applied when a deemed marriage is involved.
The presumption of ceremonial marriage is strong, especially where supporting evidence
shows that the parties have lived together as husband and wife for many years, and
it can be rebutted only by convincing evidence to the contrary. The absence of a record
in the place where the marriage is alleged to have occurred will not in itself defeat