If a state administrative, judicial, or other proceeding already proved the common-law
marriage, use it as other evidence. For policy and examples on applying state law
time limits to common-law (non-ceremonial) marriages, refer to GN 00305.076A.
NOTE: We must consider an adjudication of a state trial court if the claimant meets the
criteria in Gray vs. Richardson (adopted as Social Security Ruling (SSR) 83-37C ). Under this SSR, although the agency is not bound by the decision of a state trial
court in a proceeding on an issue to which he or she was not a party, the agency is
not free to ignore an adjudication of a state trial court with the following prerequisites:
the adjudication is by a state court of competent jurisdiction;
the issue was genuinely contested before the state court by parties with opposing
the issue falls within the general category of domestic relations law; and
the resolution of the issue by the state trial court is consistent with the law enunciated
by the highest court in the state.
If you cannot obtain each of the SSA-753s, request a written explanation from the
claimant. For each SSA-753 not obtained from a blood relative, get an SSA-753 from
a person who knows the facts or obtain other evidence for the SSA-753.