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Alabama is one of 16 states that still recognizes common law marriage. The requirements for a common-law marriage are: (1) capacity (mental ability to make a rational choice); (2) an agreement to be husband and wife; and (3) consummation of the marital relationship.
If these three requirements are met, the common law marriage is valid.
There is no such thing as a common law divorce. Common law married people have to go through the same divorce process as folks that get married with a license from the state.
If both do not agree that they are married by common law, it is not likely that they are because the third prong is not satisfied.