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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116701
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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do you need a divorce if you lived and filed taxes together

Customer Question

do you need a divorce if you lived and filed taxes together for 3 years in Montana?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Montana recognizes common law marriages. See: MCA 40-1-403.

According to the Montana Supreme Court, to have a common law marriage the parties must be competent to enter into a marriage, they must have entered into the marital arrangement by mutual consent and agreement and they confirmed their marriage by cohabitation and public repute. See: In the Matter of the Estate of Ober. 62 P2d 1114, 314 Mont. 20, 2003 MT 7 (2003).

Thus, if your relationship fits these three criteria, regardless of how many years you have together, you would be in a common law marriage and would require a divorce if you are separating. The fact you filed taxes jointly as married for 3 years would be evidence of you holding yourselves out in public to be married and your intent to act as married to satisfy that element of the common law marriage.

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