Common law marriage is a relationship in which the parties live together and present themselves as
legal spouses, with all the rights and privileges associated with legal marriage. This extends to all
sexual orientations. In some jurisdictions, cohabitating for a certain period of time will automatically
constitute a common law marriage. Common law marriage is similar to cohabitation, in that the
couple has not gone through a legally recognized marriage ceremony. However, in jurisdictions
where common law marriage exists, the couple will usually have the same or similar rights and
benefits as a married couple who has gone through a legally recognized marriage ceremony. In
jurisdictions that permit common law marriage, the couple will generally need to petition the court
in order to dissolve the relationship (i.e., they must get a divorce). While the way in which this
contract was formed is not typical, the marriage itself is generally treated the same as any other, and
it considered a legally binding contract.