I've got a friend who's been living with his so-called fiance' now for about 8 years.

I say "so-called" because I know he has no intention of marrying her.  He's only stringing her along.  He's hoping something better comes along but is too scared to go it alone, so he stays with her.  I know this sounds harsh, but I've seen this behavior for years.

The other day at the bar his girlfriend/fiance' asked me what I thought was a rather strange question at the time, but now I think I know why she was asking.  She wanted to know if we had a "Common Law Marriage" in North Dakota?

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, "Common Law Marriage" is when after a certain time frame a couple gets all the benefits of a married couple.

It also means if you should break up, you're looking at dividing up things equally, unless you have a really good lawyer.  I get the feeling she is asking for the break-up reason and not the benefits of marriage.  I think she's had enough and realizes he's never going to marry her.

I told my friend's fiance' I have no idea, but I would do some research for her.  As it turns out just about every state in the country does have some form of "Common Law Marriage" law on the books.  Only 10 don't and North Dakota is one of them.  According to LawFirms North Dakota does not recognize "Common Law Marriage."  Looks like my friend's girl is out of luck.

How do you feel about "Common Law Marriage?"  Should we have it in North Dakota?  I'll tell you what.  Love sure is a "Battlefield."


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