Did Oscar Roger and Margaret Frost meet the qualifications for a common-law marriage under Kansas law?
Yes. For there to be a common law marriage under Kansas law “the marriage agreement need not be in any particular form” there just needs to be a present mutual consent to the marriage between the parties. See In re Estate of Antonopoulos, 268 Kan. 178, 993 P.2d 637, 192 (1999). Both Oscar Roger and Margaret Frost would often refer to each other as husband and wife. Margaret’s usage of Roger’s last name and rings reflect that mutual consent.
Statement of Facts
When Oscar Roger (eighteen) and Margaret Frost (nineteen) first started dating, Oscar would often stay the night at Margaret’s apartment. A year and half into the relationship Margaret and Oscar had a baby together, named Oscar Gideon Rogers (Gideon), and subsequently moved in together. But before they moved in, the landlord questioned if they were married to which they both asserted they were. When it came to singing the lease Margaret’s signature read as Margaret Frost Rogers. Once they finally moved in Oscar vowed to be hers forever and Margaret responded in kind. On Margaret’s birthday–of that same year– Oscar gave her a ring – a family heirloom – with a note stating “to my loving wife, love you forever.” Margaret knew the ring belonged to Oscar’s grandmother and that Oscar always wanted his wife to have the ring. Additionally, Oscar also bought a band for himself and placed it on his ring finger. Margaret also placed it on her ring finger, but depending on what she was doing would switch it to the other hand from time to time. Margaret was also presented as Oscar’s wife, to all of his co-workers.
Later that year, Margaret booked a room...
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... as Margaret’s grandmother 's belief that they’re not married do not prove there is no common-law marriage. This belief could stem from her grandmother’s conservative beliefs where one is not truly married until there is a ceremony though the church. This could also be the influencing factor behind why Oscar and Margaret would want to conduct a ceremony. Since it would be a way to placate her grandmother, even though to them they’re already married. Finally, there is the issue of Margaret’s Facebook status as single. This is such a minuscule and passive action which greatly differ from both Dixon and Whetstone, where the parties, both intentionally dismissed the idea of being married.
On these facts, the court will probably find that the claimant did have a common-law marriage and thus deserves some business equity and profits gained during the marriage.
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