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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

How Does the RRB Establish Common Law Marriage?

(Posted February 3, 2016)

Question 1242: My husband's first wife is trying to establish common law marriage to him in order to file for a Divorced Spouse Annuity. Are there any criteria that the Railroad Retirement Board uses to determine whether a common law marriage existed? They were legally married for less than 10 years. They lived together prior to their marriage.

Answer: In establishing common law marriage, the Railroad Retirement Board follows the law of the State where the couple resided.  Rest assured, you or your husband will not lose any of your benefits if she becomes eligible for a Divorced Spouse Annuity.


Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.


Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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