Question: Is Arizona a common-law marriage state? If two seniors have been living together for more than ten years without being married and one passes away, will the living senior be responsible for the debts of the deceased.
Common law marriage does not exist in Arizona. In order to be considered married in Arizona, a couple must obtain a license to marry and have a ceremony as approved by the laws of Arizona, to make the relationship legal (called solemnization). (A.R.S. § 25-111)
Arizona is a community property state, so in the case of a married couple, generally, each spouse is responsible for the debts that the other spouse incurs. But because common law marriages do not meet the legal requirements of a valid marriage, there is no community property between the two people, and also no responsibility for paying the debts of the other person, as long as neither person has guaranteed the debts of the other.
January 25, 2007