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  1. #1
    Blanca_A is offline Junior Member
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    Common Law Marriage claim - TX/death of partner

    Texas - My fiancee lived with me for 6 mths before his divorce was final and immediately had himself added to my lease in March so that he could add me to his insurance for auto and renter's. We joined the church we were to be married at but I was still listed in the directory as his wife. He added me as beneficiary to his life insurance which had been in place for 12 yrs. We maintained a joint checking account and had mailing labels issued as "The Smiths". Our CVS and Tom Thumb accounts were tied together and my CVS account is listed under as "Mary Smith". He had a nervous breakdown and stayed with his parents for 5 months but maintained our address and added me as joint account holder of 2 credit cards during that time. He recovered (we thought) and moved back in 2 weeks ago. He committed suicide last week and now I want to know if I have any rights to his social security?
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    It sounds like you likely met the requirements to be considered common law marriage. Now, all you have to do is prove it to the SSA.


    No idea how much, if any, you would be entitled to though.
  3. #3
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    I donn't think that the Federal Government recognizes same sex, common law marriages and domestic partnerships...
  4. #4
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    It sounds like you likely met the requirements to be considered common law marriage. Now, all you have to do is prove it to the SSA.


    No idea how much, if any, you would be entitled to though.
    Unless they're well into middle age and he has a good earnings history while she has little or none, it may not matter a whit. It would really be necessary to have more info about their respective earnings history and ages to even begin to guess.
  5. #5
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    I didn't think that the Federal Government recognized same sex and common law marriages and domestic partnerships...
    they have recognized common law marriages for hundreds of years already. Not sure why they would change that now.
  6. #6
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    they have recognized common law marriages for hundreds of years already. Not sure why they would change that now.
    The Federal Government? You sure???
  7. #7
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    they have recognized common law marriages for hundreds of years already. Not sure why they would change that now.


    Well, USCIS doesn't for one thing...
  8. #8
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proserpina View Post
    Well, USCIS doesn't for one thing...
    My friend's employer (the BOP) doesn't....
  9. #9
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    To receive survivors benefits, the deceased worker must have earned the required number of Social Security credits. Survivors also must meet the following requirements:

    * A widow or widower may be able to receive full benefits at full retirement age or reduced as early as age 50. For more information on widows, widowers and other survivors, visit Widows, Widowers & Other Survivors.
    * A widow or widower can receive benefits at any age if she or he takes care of the deceased worker's child who is entitled to a child's benefit and younger than age 16 or disabled.
    * A deceased worker's unmarried children who are younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time) also can receive benefits. Children can get benefits at any age if they were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
    * A deceased worker's dependent parents can receive benefits if they are age 62 or older. (For parents to qualify as dependents, the deceased worker would have had to provide at least one-half of their support.)
    * A deceased worker's former spouse who is age 60 or older (as early as age 50 if disabled) can get benefits if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. A former spouse, however, does not have to meet the age or length-of-marriage rule if she or he is caring for their natural or legally adopted child who is younger than age 16 or who is disabled and also is entitled based on the deceased worker's work.

    Generally, a person can qualify for widow's or widower's benefits if he or she was married to the deceased worker for at least nine months just before the worker died. However, you do not need to be married to the worker for any specific length of time if:

    * You are the mother or father of the worker's biological child;
    * You legally adopted the worker's child while you were married to him or her and before the child attained age 18;
    * You are the parent of a child who was legally adopted by the worker while you and the worker were married and before the child attained age 18;
    * You and the worker were married and both of you legally adopted a child under age 18;
    * You were entitled or potentially entitled to spouse's, widow(er)'s, parent's benefits or to childhood disability benefits on the record of a fully insured individual in the month before the month you married the deceased worker;
    * You were entitled or potentially entitled to a widow(er)'s, child's (age 18 or over) or parent's insurance annuity under the Railroad Retirement Act (RRA) in the month before you married the deceased worker;
    * The worker was married previously to an institutionalized spouse, but was not allowed to divorce him or her under state law. After the spouse died, he or she married you within 60 days;
    * You were married to the worker at the time of his or her death, you had been married to and divorced from him or her before, and the previous marriage lasted nine months;
    * The worker's death occurred in the line of duty while he or she was a member of a uniformed service serving on active duty; or
    * The worker's death was accidental. (Note: The worker's death is considered "accidental" only if he or she received bodily injuries through violent, external and accidental means and, as a direct result of the bodily injuries and independent of all other causes, died within three months after the day he or she received the injuries.)

    If the worker could not reasonably have been expected to live for nine months at the time you married him or her, then you cannot qualify for benefits under the last three conditions.

    See ssa.gov for more information.
  10. #10
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Geekess:

    Help me. Was I wrong?
  11. #11
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    Geekess:

    Help me. Was I wrong?
    For SSA purposes.

    Social Security follows the laws of the state where the worker was residing at the time of death or the place where the worker is residing when the spouse applies for benefits. In order for a common law marriage to be valid, it must have been contracted in a state where common-law marriages are recognized.

    Many states do not honor common-law marriages, so you should check local laws. However, most states (even those in which a man and woman could not enter into a valid common-law marriage) will generally recognize a common-law marriage validly entered into in another state. Again, check local laws.
    [url=http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/296/kw/common%20law%20marriage]Recognizing common law marriage.[/url]
  12. #12
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CourtClerk View Post
    My friend's employer (the BOP) doesn't....
    ya got to help me.

    BOP?

    I'm thinking this makes it a requirement the federal government recognize common law marriages:


    1738. State and Territorial statutes and judicial proceedings; full faith and credit

    The Acts of the legislature of any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States, or copies thereof, shall be authenticated by affixing the seal of such State, Territory or Possession thereto.
    The records and judicial proceedings of any court of any such State, Territory or Possession, or copies thereof, shall be proved or admitted in other courts within the United States and its Territories and Possessions by the attestation of the clerk and seal of the court annexed, if a seal exists, together with a certificate of a judge of the court that the said attestation is in proper form.
    Such Acts, records and judicial proceedings or copies thereof, so authenticated, shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the United States and its Territories and Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts of such State, Territory or Possession from which they are taken.
  13. #13
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by justalayman View Post
    ya got to help me.

    BOP?

    I'm thinking this makes it a requirement the federal government recognize common law marriages:


    It seems that the Federal government will recognize a common law marriage for some purposes...but not for others.

    Very interesting.

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