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Thread: Health Insurance for Common Law Marriage

  1. #1
    sotxtigger Guest

    Health Insurance for Common Law Marriage

    What is the name of your state? Texas

    I know Texas recognizes Common Law marriages. However, my employer is based out of Boston, MA and they do not recognize common law marriages and therefore, will not allow me to add my common law husband on my health insurance policy.

    Is this correct? Or should I seek legal assistance?
  2. #2
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    No, this is correct. Since Massachusetts does not recognize common law marriages, they are not required to consider a common law spouse to be an eligible dependent. For that matter, they are not required to consider any spouse as dependents. It would be perfectly legal for them to only cover the employees and no dependents at all.

    Many companies will voluntarily agree to accept common law spouses when the employee is living in a state that recognizes them, but that does not require the employer to do so.
  3. #3
    nailtech is offline Senior Member
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    that does not sound right, you can go to your local courthouse and sign a paper stateing your common law married, and it makes it legal.... if you say you are common law married, and decide to move to a state that does not recognize common law marriages, you still have to get a legal divorce... I would say they had to abide by Texas laws.. they have jourisdiction on your marriage...


    quoted from link below:
    "Remember that the United States Constitution requires every state to accord "Full Faith and Credit" to the laws of its sister states. Thus, a common-law marriage that is validly contracted in a state where such marriages are legal will be valid even in states where such marriages cannot be contracted and may be contrary to public policy."

    [url]http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/search/alternative_lifestyles/common_law_marriages/[/url]

    go to your local courthouse and sign the papers and make the common law marriage legal... if your stating common law now, theres no difference. of course you could just get married since your already married in eyes of texas...
    it wouldn't hurt to pay a consultation fee and get the legal on it...
    Last edited by nailtech; 02-11-2003 at 08:59 AM.
  4. #4
    sotxtigger Guest

    Health Insurance for Common Law Marriage

    Thank you for your replies. I'm 50/50 now. Any other opinions that might assist me?

    Thank you!
  5. #5
    amc822 Guest
    Get married.
  6. #6
    sotxtigger Guest
    We are married for all intensive purposes. The state of Texas recognizes our relationship. Why should we be forced to have a religious ceremony just because my employer is in a state that does not recognize our marriage and because they are not abiding by the laws of the Constitution?

    If you were told you could not drive a car if you are a blonde even though the laws state otherwise, would you dye your hair even though you do not want to?
  7. #7
    zappy Guest
    NO its for exactly the same reason most government employees must have a 4 yr degree to apply...

    Its really not needed for tons of jobs..... but those are the rules they set up to keep others out.
  8. #8
    sotxtigger Guest
    You don't think it's discriminatory? The state recognizes him as my husband but my employer does not. So in effect, they could also say the same if I had a spouse of a different race too. Just because they state it's their company policy, does not mean it is legal.

    Am I correct or assuming too much here?

    Regarding the 4 year degree for Gov't employees this can be easily rationalized by equating a degree with sufficient education to be able to perform the job.
  9. #9
    zappy Guest
    Then the employer can rationalize, you dont have the marriage license, so we don't have to cover him.

    As long as their policy is the same for all non- married couples, then there is no discrimination.
  10. #10
    Boxcarbill Guest
    Originally posted by nailtech
    that does not sound right, you can go to your local courthouse and sign a paper stateing your common law married, and it makes it legal.... if you say you are common law married, and decide to move to a state that does not recognize common law marriages, you still have to get a legal divorce... I would say they had to abide by Texas laws.. they have jourisdiction on your marriage...


    quoted from link below:
    "Remember that the United States Constitution requires every state to accord "Full Faith and Credit" to the laws of its sister states. Thus, a common-law marriage that is validly contracted in a state where such marriages are legal will be valid even in states where such marriages cannot be contracted and may be contrary to public policy."

    [url]http://www.usmarriagelaws.com/search/alternative_lifestyles/common_law_marriages/[/url]

    go to your local courthouse and sign the papers and make the common law marriage legal... if your stating common law now, theres no difference. of course you could just get married since your already married in eyes of texas...
    it wouldn't hurt to pay a consultation fee and get the legal on it...
    Well, now here is the problem. Texas recognizes an informal/commmon law marriage within its boundary but if the common law marriage isn't in a declaration and recorded, it may or may not be found to be an informal/ common law marriage in a court of law. So it is basically the parties assertion that they are married. And, in fact, in Texas, if a proceeding to prove an informal/common law is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.
  11. #11
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    It's also quite possible to get married without it being a religious ceremony.
  12. #12
    sotxtigger Guest
    I just received an email from my HR department which states:

    "We are self-insured and State laws do not apply to our Plan. It is the legal plan document which specifies how our Plan works. Currently, our dependent eligibility is specified as legally married spouses and dependent children. "

    I guess if you're self insured you can make your own rules. I did not know this.
  13. #13
    VeronicaGia is offline Senior Member
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    No, that's not true. What the insurance company recognizes are the laws of the state they are in. The policy also would not cover same sex "marriages," same sex realtionships where the parties live together, children that are not the biological children of the emplyee, etc. In other words, anyone who is not related in the legal sense of the word in the state of the insurance company. For all they know, you two are just friends and live in the same house; if you two were just friends, why would the insurance company cover you?

    If common law marriage was indeed common in all 50 states, I could see where you would have a problem with the rules and laws of the insurance company. But there are many laws in some states that are not laws in others.

    It sounds like you'll have to get that piece of paper or get your own insurance.
  14. #14
    nailtech is offline Senior Member
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    Boxcar, are you saying that before two years its not a marriage,. there's no such thing as a common law divorce..

    and Sot, if your claiming to be married then just do it you have nothing to hide(so to speak), why dont you just make it legal instead of trying to find a loophole if you want to be married and the benifits of being married, if your husband wants the insurance then its a simple answer..

    why do you want to be married but dont want a wedding/ceramony??
  15. #15
    Boxcarbill Guest
    Originally posted by nailtech
    Boxcar, are you saying that before two years its not a marriage,. there's no such thing as a common law divorce..

    and Sot, if your claiming to be married then just do it you have nothing to hide(so to speak), why dont you just make it legal instead of trying to find a loophole if you want to be married and the benifits of being married, if your husband wants the insurance then its a simple answer..

    why do you want to be married but dont want a wedding/ceramony??
    No that is not what I am saying nor is that the law in Texas. An informal marriage is not established by a time frame but is based upon a three prong test--a co-habitation in the state of Texas, an intent to be married and a holding out as husband and wife. Now, while couples declare "we're informally married," the real test doesn't come until they wish to separate and divide the property. Then the divorce petition must assert that they were informally married in order to divide "community property." But if one of them denies the existence of the marriage (and believe me when I say that this is the time that the one who didn't want to go through a formal marriage asserts that they aren't married) then the informal marriage must be proven before there can be a division of any community property.

    Now, because people were waiting years after a separation to claim that they were informally married, thereby creating a nightmare in probate, wrongful death actions, real propety, etc. a powerful movement began to abolish the informal marriage in Texas. The result was a compromise by the Texas legislature. Keep informal marriage but encourage people to assert their informal marriage very quickly after separation or face a presumption that there was never an intent to be informmally married. The result was a statute that if a proceeding in which an informal marriage is to be proved is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married. So no it is not a common law divorce (there is no such thing) but rather create a presumption that there never was a marriage.

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