Let's sling some bull.
I work in an industry where my customers' marital status is an important piece of information.
Now. Some years ago, nevermind when, the idea of "common-law marriage" came about. Through legislation and court cases, the concept evolved to what it is now.
There seems to be a huge misconception about what it is and how it happens.
My favorite response when I ask for a customer's marital status is "we're common-law married."
Because I get to shatter some fantasies with a blunt object of truth.
People believe that common-law marriage requires only that you've lived with your "spouse" for a set amount of time. The average time span I hear is six months to one year, though I've had people insist they were married after four weeks.
While it may sound a romantic notion for those people who can't afford the wedding they want or are otherwise blocked from actually getting legally married, it's not at all enough.
For a common-law marriage to be in place, you must present yourself as a married couple to the government in an official status. That is to say, you have to file taxes as married, apply for government assistance as married, or in some way advise the government that you are married.
This makes my cynicism go into active mode when I have to explain to people that they are not married in the eyes of the law.
For fuck's sake, if you think it's as easy as living together for six months, doesn't that completely negate the entire point of the marriage itself? An actual marriage ceremony requires a commitment to your spouse with witnesses to validate that commitment.
Any pair of assholes can shack up.
So, please, stop telling people you're common-law married. Because more likely than not, you're just an idiot.
Hype out. *drops mic*