The End of Common-Law Marriage in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma is one of a fifteen-member minority of states that still recognizes common-law marriages. Yesterday, however, the House passed a bill that would cease the recognition of common-law marriage in Oklahoma. If House Bill 1455 is enacted, common-law marriages, not previously recognized by a court of competent jurisdiction, will no longer be recognized as valid after November 1, 2005. Representative Lee Denny of Cushing is the author of the bill. Denny said common-law marriage was a law from the cowboy days and had outlived its usefulness. Denny said the new law was designed to strengthen marriage in Oklahoma by encouraging traditional marriage.