This chapter describes the adventures—and the decline and fall—of the doctrine of common-law marriage in the twentieth century. A common-law marriage was an informal, but perfectly legal, marriage. If a man and woman agreed with each other to be husband and wife, then, from that moment on, they were husband and wife, without a marriage license, a judge or clergyman, witnesses, or anything else. A series of court decisions, in the first half of the nineteenth century, established the doctrine in most of the states. The chapter looks at the social factors which led to the decline of the common-law marriage.
Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.