State House votes to outlaw common law marriage

Tuesday, March 15th 2005, 2:27 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Common law marriages would no longer be recognized in Oklahoma under a bill approved by the state House Tuesday.

Oklahoma is one of 15 states and the District of Columbia to recognize common law marriages.

Supporters say the bill would strengthen traditional marriages by stopping people who ``shack up'' and bypass traditional marriage.

Opponents say the measure will create uncertainty about how to divide assets in a divorce or the death of a common law spouse.

The bill by Representative Lee Denney would end the recognition of common law marriage on November 1st. Any such marriage recognized before November 1st would still be recognized.

The bill now goes to the state Senate, where similar bills have died in the past.