[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

Re: hand fasting and banns

>One should be especially careful of handfastings on Sunday in Pennsylvania.
>It might be UL but if both parties have the traditional 4 witnesses it could
>be legal.  I hate to say it, but you really should check with a lawyer
>you do something that could get you into common law troubles.

Pennsylvania is a Common Law Marraige state.  This means that if yoiu hold
yourself out as married, you are married.  Contrary to popular belief, you
do not have to live together for seven years (or any lkength of time) for
this to work.

I am a member of the bar in DC, not PA, but DC is also a common law
marraige juristictions.  In one case I learned in bar prep, a woman sought
a widow's share in NY when her husband died intestate.  NY is not a common
law marraige state.  However, she provided copies of hotel registries of
her and her common law husband signing as "Mr. & Mrs."  Held: The couple
was validly a married couple under PA law governing common law marraiges.
Under the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution, NY must
recognize the marraige as valid in NY.

Which, of course, is another point.  A common law marraige is a "real"
marraige.  It takes a "real" divorce to disolve it.  It is valid outside of
the jurisdiction. etc.


Harold Feld
Yaakov HaMizrachi

"Do not ask 'Why are these days not as good as the days of old?' This
question is not prompted by wisdom." -Eccl.