A Family Law Attorney blogs on the definition of a putative marriage
A putative marriage is a legally invalid marriage, although entered into with good faith by one or both parties Reasons that a putative marriage is not legally binding would be because of a technical barrier (called an impediment), for example if one party in the putative marriage has a preexistent marriage.
A putative spouse is different than a statutory spouse, a common-law spouse or a ceremonial marriage spouse, in that a putative spouse is not legally married. Rather, they believe them self to be married in “good faith.” Therefore, the putative spouse typically has legal rights because of their dependence on their good faith union with the other partner.
Under civil law, if the impediment is removed, the marriage becomes valid. However, with regard to divorce proceedings, if the impediment has not been removed, commonly the partner that as not made the infraction is often entitled to the protections of a divorce for division of property and child custody.
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