I used to be a big believer in not living with someone before I was married. No, it wasn't a big religious thing. It was an independence thing. I wanted to make sure that I could support myself on my own and not have to rely on anyone for help. However, after about 5 years I think the point has been made. I'm not going to starve or go homeless on my own. Woo hoo.
So, my thinking on living together before marriage has changed. However, come to find out that some states haven't changed their thinking at all. If I ever live with someone and move to Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia or West Virginia, I will actually be breaking the law. That's right. It's against the law to "cohabitate" in these states.
One might argue that many states have old ass laws that bar crazy and seemingly common thing. That's a good point. Another point would be that North Dakota just upheld its law which made living together a sex crime. Another ridiculous notion because everyone knows that once you live together there is no sex. Would they make you register as a sex crime offender?
Sure they never really enforce the law, but if it were my senator, I'd be pissed if he or she voted for it. Of course, my senator also looks me in the eye and votes against heart-healthy issues and then shows up to host a heart-related fundraiser and begins her speech with "As a big supporter of heart-health...."
Anyway, if it's illegal for couples to live together in these states, do they not recognize common law marriages? One would think that common law marriages would be the bread and butter of West Virginia, but I guess not. Or do they recognize common law marriages as a way of making those who've been living in sin moral?
Who knows? If you want to learn more about common law marriage, click here. It's apparently dying out and not legal in very many states (including Indiana and Tennessee--I'm just saying).
Here's where it is legal:
District of Columbia
Georgia (if created before 1/97)
Idaho (if created before 1/96)
New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/91)
Pennsylvania (if created before 9/03)
Anyway, if you're shacking up or planning to, make sure you're breaking the law. If you're going to do it, you might as well piss off the Christian right and make a day of it.