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I was wondering if common law marriages were legal in NY State and NJ?
Response 1: Unfortunately, no. Common law marriage was abolished in New York in 1933 and New Jersey in 1939.
I'm asing for my sister. She lived with a man for 35 years and he just passed away. We want to now can she recieve spousal benifits from his social security?
Response 2: Regrettably, she cannot because there is no longer common law marriage in New York or New Jersey. So she would not be considered his widow.
I am sorry that I do not have better news for you.