Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Commonwealth Court Abolishes Common Law Marriage

PNC Bank Corporation v. WCAB (Stamos) is a fatal case where the spouse proved the existence of a common law marriage before the WCJ. The Commonwealth Court engaged in a lengthy discussion of the background of the doctrine of common law marriage. The Court sated the Supreme Court has questioned the viability of the doctrine, allowing the Commonwealth Court to abolish the doctrine. The Court said the doctrine is not necessary where access to a marriage license and magistrate is not limited like it was in the frontier days. The Court finally stated its abolition of the doctrine is prospective in application.

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