TN 29 (05-01)

GN 00305.070 Void Ceremonial Marriages - Removal of Impediment

A. Policy — void ceremonial marriages — removal of impediment

1. General Policy

If the parties entered into a ceremonial marriage that was void because of a legal impediment, a common-law marriage may later come into being in some States (see GN 00305.075 for State laws) if:

  1. The impediment is later removed; and

  2. The parties continue to live together after removal of the impediment.

2. Removal of Impediment

a. General

State laws vary on the requirements needed to establish a common-law marriage after removal of an impediment. The laws also vary depending on whether the impediment involved a prior undissolved marriage or a violation of a restriction imposed in a divorce decree.

b. Prior Undissolved Marriage

For State laws on cohabitation after removal of an impediment, see GN 00305.075. If the State's entry merely says that common-law marriage was recognized at the relevant time and there is a question as to whether a common-law marriage will arise upon removal of the legal impediment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.800 ff. for possible submittal to the RCC.

c. Divorce Decree Restriction

See GN 00305.150 - GN 00305.165. If the marriage was barred in one State and the couple goes into a State where marriage between them would be permitted, a common-law marriage may arise if the latter State recognizes common-law marriage.

For questionable cases, follow the procedures in GN 01010.800 ff. for possible submittal to the RCC.

B. Procedure — void ceremonial marriages — removal of impediment

1. Documentation - Parties Lived Together After Impediment Removed

  1. Get proof of the ceremonial marriage and

  2. SSA-754's completed by both the husband and wife or by the surviving spouse.

2. Documentation - Parties Did Not Live Together After Impediment Removed

If.. .

Then follow the procedure in. . .

both parties are alive

GN 00305.065 (1).

one party is deceased

GN 00305.065 (2).

3. Development

Follow the development in GN 00305.065 (3).

4. Temporary Separation

If the parties were separated temporarily for reasons such as ill health, financial trouble, employment away from home, or service in the Armed Forces, the living together requirement may nevertheless be met in some States.

5. Legal Opinion/Determination

If a legal opinion is needed, follow the procedures in GN 01010.800 ff. for possible submittal to the RCC. Otherwise, make a determination based on existing precedents as to whether a common-law marriage exists (or existed).


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200305070
GN 00305.070 - Void Ceremonial Marriages - Removal of Impediment - 04/07/2015
Batch run: 04/07/2015
Rev:</