Unfortunately, common law marriage is not recognized in California...regardless of the length of time that you have been together. If you are recognized in another state as being common law married, California will honor that. I don't know if that helps.
Common law marriage is recognized only in the following states:
Here are the applicable sections of the California Family Code:
FAMILY.CODE SECTION 300-310
308. A marriage contracted outside this state that would be validby the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contractedis valid in this state.
I'm sorry I don't have better news. You can file a civil suit to divide property if that is necessary.
Also, the case you refer to (Marvin v. Marvin, 557 P.2d 106, 112 (Cal. 1976) is a palimony suit, not common law. I'm not sure that is still good law. This site has information on palimony: http://www.palimony.com/7.html
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