State's "Recognizing" Common Law Marriage
As of December 2014 here's a list of State's that currently "recognize" common law marriage. Remember, "recognize" and "lawful" are two different things. Common law marriage is "lawful" and "legal" in all fifty states, they're simply not "recognized" because they aren't a part of the agreement.
District of Columbia
Georgia (if created before 1/1/97)
Idaho (if created before 1/1/96)
New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/10/91)
Oklahoma (possibly only if created before 11/1/98. Oklahoma’s laws and court decisions may be in conflict about whether common law marriages formed in that state after 11/1/98 will be recognized.)
Pennsylvania (if created before 1/1/05)
You'll soon notice these Common Law States and the other Marriage License States aren't too different in the way they approach this subject matter. Both groups want to urge you to get the marriage license. Their "sales process" is to stream-line things or funnel couples into the marriage license camp rather than the common law marriage camp because of the revenue that's associated with the State marriage license and State marriage certificate route.
Moreover, from the State's point of view, they think "common law marriage" is a couple that's simply living together and never had a wedding, something to that affect. I'm asking them about being married with a wedding and simply leaving the marriage license out. The States don't have much in the way of a response to that other than, a non-answer. The reason for this non-answer goes back to the fact people have the right to contract with whomever they want or don't want for that matter. While the State Corporation might think its god, it most surely is not. Therefore the people are free to have a relational status independent of the State government in question, via common law.
The truth of the matter is in states that don't supposedly "recognize" common law marriage, they recognize it. What do I mean by that? What I mean is this, I've spoken with men and women with real life examples of being married without a State issued marriage license or State marriage certificate. When some of these couples went to the State for a certificate of divorce, the court ruled each relationship as a marriage relationship even though there was no marriage license.
Once a couple goes into a court to divorce, they instantly come under the rules, regulations, terms, conditions and statutes of the given State. All of a sudden the couple's non-recognized marriage becomes a recognized and lawful marriage in the eyes of the court system. The State family court will have no problem telling you how to handle your affairs moving forward. Hopefully, your marriage will stay together and go the distance because love, forgiveness and commitment to your word on the wedding day mean more than the challenge currently taking place in the marriage.
Once the people begin to embrace common law marriage again because proper understanding has been rightly communicated, family and marriages will begin to shift towards wholeness and wholesomeness again. There needs to be a return to the righteous, pure living as in the days of old. A people of virtue, character and integrity need to be re-established in this land called the United States of America (USA). If you say "yes" and I say "yes", then the world will have to change around us. We believed it once upon a time. Let's believe for long lasting marriages again.
For more information on the legalities of marriage check out, The Biblical Marriage or Marriage License Fraud