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Thread: Common law marriage

  1. #1
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    Default Common law marriage

    Is a man and a woman who were divorced in Florida in the 1990's considered "common law" married if they live in DR for a number of years after the divorce? The man died and the woman is trying to obtain Florida real property in the man's estate filed in Florida based on the DR law. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    they were living together in the Dominican Republic?
    If memory serves, a relationship that is long lasting, public and recognized by friends is considered to be a valid base for inheritance in the Dominican Republic. In Florida, I do not know, it seems a stretch...I am sure our legal expert Mr Guzman, can provide a clearer picture on this scenario.

    HB

  3. #3
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    Default Common law marriage

    Yes. they lived for a couple of years together in DR after they were divorced in FLorida. The man had property in Florida and the ex spouse is attempting to get the property based an a "common law" marriage in DR.

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    The woman would have to prove that the relationship was fulfilling the Dominican legal requirements for inheritance, IMO.. I am NOT a lawyer!!!! I just read a lot.

    Wait for Mr. Guzman to answer this.

    HB

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  6. #5
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    There is no such thing as a "common law marriage" in the Dominican Republic. Living together is never equivalent to a normal marriage.

    However, certain provisions in the Labor Code, the Minors Code and the Criminal Code acknowledge that living together has legal consequences. For example, a worker has the right to a few days off work if his or her companion gives birth to his child; domestic violence to a companion treated the same as domestic violence to a wife. On October 17, 2001, a Supreme Court decision gave a surviving concubine the right to sue for the wrongful death of her companion in an automobile accident under very restrictive conditions: a) the couple must have lived as if they were husband and wife, in a public relationship, not hidden or secret; b) the relationship must be stable and long-lasting; c) the relationship must be monogamous and non-adulterous since its origins ; and d) the couple should be of different sexes. The ruling goes on to say expressly that "marriage and extra matrimonial companionship are not . . equivalent realities”.

    Other courts have expanded these rights to other areas but are in the process of appeals. A bill has also been introduced in Congress to create common law marriages. I doubt it will pass since the Catholic Church is dead set against it.
    Fabio J. Guzman
    Guzman Ariza
    Attorneys-at-Law
    Sosúa, Santo Domingo, San Francisco de Macorís, Cabrera
    Las Terrenas, Samaná, Bávaro (Punta Cana) and La Romana
    Dominican Republic


    info@drlawyer.com


    Website

    The opinion above should not be construed to be formal legal advice and was given without reviewing the facts and documents pertinent to the case. The reader should NOT act based upon this opinion without seeking professional counsel.

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  8. #6
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    THERE, that should set things straight. I did not see any reference to inheritance, did you?

    HB

  9. #7
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    Default Yeah, But

    Yeah according to Guzman, there is no common law marriage but are one of the limited rights, the right to inheritance?

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    Spouses don't inherit each other in the Dominican Republic, except in extremely unusual circumstances (no relatives to the "12th degree").

    Spouses married under community property, however, do share 50-50 all community assets, and in case of divorce, have rights over 50% of those assets. The question is whether a Dominican Court will apply the same principle to a couple living together but not married. Some lower courts have done so, but the cases are still on appeal so we won't know for sure until the Supreme Court rules on the appeals.
    Fabio J. Guzman
    Guzman Ariza
    Attorneys-at-Law
    Sosúa, Santo Domingo, San Francisco de Macorís, Cabrera
    Las Terrenas, Samaná, Bávaro (Punta Cana) and La Romana
    Dominican Republic


    info@drlawyer.com


    Website

    The opinion above should not be construed to be formal legal advice and was given without reviewing the facts and documents pertinent to the case. The reader should NOT act based upon this opinion without seeking professional counsel.

  11. #9
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    Default inheritance rights in common law marriage

    Dear Mr. Guzman: Thank you for your reply. Is there a way for me to get the citations to the cases on appeal and English translations? I am an attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and have a case reagrding the issues we have been discussing. Thank you very much for your help.

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    Default Update please about common law marriage in the DR

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio J. Guzman View Post
    Spouses don't inherit each other in the Dominican Republic, except in extremely unusual circumstances (no relatives to the "12th degree").

    Spouses married under community property, however, do share 50-50 all community assets, and in case of divorce, have rights over 50% of those assets. The question is whether a Dominican Court will apply the same principle to a couple living together but not married. Some lower courts have done so, but the cases are still on appeal so we won't know for sure until the Supreme Court rules on the appeals.
    Dr. Guzman. Do you have updates on the status of common law marriage and what the courts ruled about it in the DR?

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