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 a married couple 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