My father passed away this past December. Now, his girlfriend is claiming that she was his wife under common law, and that she should have rights to his property. By pretending to be his wife, she has restricted his real family members from visiting him in the hospital, attending his funeral, accessing his will, and receiving his assets.
Common law marriage requires both spouses to refer to each other as husband and wife, and present themselves as married to the community. My father and his girlfriend never called each other husband and wife, nor did they tell people that they were married. They never shared any bank accounts or credit card accounts, either. She has no proof of a common law marriage.
Marriage is special. One should not be able to claim single status for certain benefits and then claim common law marriage after someone has passed. My father never agreed to be married.
I know all of this turmoil was not my father’s wishes. We have taken the case to court in hopes that his estate can be separately fairly among his family members. If she wins in court, me, my brother, and our families will receive very little. My husband currently serves in the Army and my brother in the Air Force. Our family has given our lives to serving this country, and we hope that justice will be served.