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WTF is a COMMON LAW MARRIAGE!!


In Episode 023 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss common law marriages.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott. I'm one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on is your boy Rich, and today we are going to talk about common law marriage.

Nik:

Right at the start of every episode, we remind you that we are not trained, licensed or professional therapists or counselors. We've been married quite a while and have just a little bit of experience in this. So, we use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share those experiences, our advice, our opinions, and our stories.

Nik:

If you haven't already, make sure you're following the Naked Proverbs on whatever platform you're listening to your podcasts on. And if you like what you hear, show us your love and support by giving us a five-star rating on iTunes or wherever you are listening right now.

Rich:

As always, we love to start off every episode saying thank you to our listeners. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for spending your Sunday, Saturday, whatever day of the week you choose to listen to us, thank you for spending it with us.

Rich:

We always say in the beginning, make sure you're following us make sure that you're giving us a five-star rating. There are a few episodes out there where we talk about our Patreon page. But the truth is, we've never really told you how you can support Naked Proverbs.

Nik:

The fact of the matter is, is our audience is growing. And while we appreciate you listening and tuning in, my husband is right, that there are so many other ways that you can support us and those ways aren't always involving the donation on the Patreon page.

Rich:

When you think of how you can support Naked Proverbs, I am going to give you a few ways that have nothing to do with you writing a check. Because I think so often when people hear the word support, they immediately think, oh my god, here they go again, somebody wants some money. But reality is there are so many ways you can support a small podcast like this. And it has nothing to do with money.

Rich:

One of those ways is you can share the podcast with your friends, your family, and get them to subscribe. You can always follow us, you know, sometimes people just tune in, but they're not actually following Naked Proverbs. So, you could always follow Naked Proverbs on all of the different areas that we are in, such as on social media.

Nik:

Definitely on social media. We have an Instagram page, we have a Facebook page, we have a YouTube account. And all of those platforms are places where you can follow us. And not only just follow us but engage with our content. Absolutely share our episodes. But also share the content that you see coming across any of our social media platforms. And you can find us @nakedproverbs all over the internet.

Rich:

And then like she said, when she mentioned, engaging with us, you know, we want to hear your comments, your questions, your views that may be different than ours, because remember, this is our point of view. But I'm all about getting into some dialogue and hearing where you might disagree with something I've said, or you want to know a little bit more about something we've said. And honestly, you know, what, that's how this topic came up, was we had a listener that sent us a question, which we'll get to later on in the podcast. But I think those are great ways that you can engage and be a part of Naked Proverbs and really support us more than just tuning in once or twice or three times a week.

Nik:

That's right. Also, another really, really, really great way that I think a lot of people don't think about, is if you are following us on our Facebook page, we encourage you to invite all of your Facebook friends to like the Naked Proverbs Facebook page. And I can post some instructions about how to do that on our Facebook page. Because I think that the more people are willing to share, especially the episodes and the content that they like, with people in their own individual circles and networks, the more we'll be able to share our opinions, our stories, our advice and our experience.

Rich:

And the reality is you never know who that might benefit. So, don't assume that just because, oh that friends not married, or oh, that friend, they don't really listen to podcasts. Just share and let them determine if it's something they want to tune into or not.

Nik:

And of course, word of mouth has always been the best form of marketing. If you're not talking about Naked Proverbs make sure that you're telling your friends about it. And we do have our Patreon page.

Rich:

That's right.

Nik:

And for as little as $2 a month, you can support our podcast. And you know, the question is always well, what do you owe me $2 a month for? Well, first of all, $2 a month equates to $24 a year. So, it's one pizza

Rich:

in a whole year,

Nik:

in a whole year.

Rich:

I eat more than one pizza in a year.

Nik:

I try not to eat more than one pizza...

Rich:

I would eat a lot of pizza in a year if you let me.

Nik:

But the fact of the matter is we will use your funds to get better quality production, right? Our production factor is it's decent, but there's another level to this thing and it takes money to enhance your listener experience and your viewing experience if you're watching the video podcast.

Nik:

We would also use your money to pay for the software behind hosting this podcast, right? It takes just a little bit of money for us to be able to produce and put this podcast out for you every single week. So, we would absolutely use your funds to go directly back to making like I said this a better viewing and listening experience for all of you. And I always liken it to tipping the free valet, or the concierge at your favorite hotel or restaurant, right? They're giving you this free service, but you appreciate what they're doing for you so much that you might slide them a couple dollars.

Rich:

So, remember, if you like what you hear, show us your love.

You're listening to the Naked Proverbs podcast with Rich and Nik Scott. If you like what you're hearing, show your support by becoming a patron. All of our patrons receive exclusive benefits, like behind the scenes content, access to bonus audio, and Naked Proverbs merchandise. To learn more and to become a patron visit the Naked Proverbs Patreon page www.patreon.com/nakedproverbs

Rich:

Episode 1, Nik and I promised to be totally naked and transparent. So, I am about to share something with y'all that most people don't even know. Nik and I are common law married pause for effect.

Rich:

I was just playing. Man, please,

Nik:

We jumped the broom.

Rich:

there is no way that my wife would have been cool with that. And there's no way that I would have been cool with that. Today's topic is about common law marriage. But what is common law marriage like what is the mean, it's common? People get married commonly.

Nik:

And is law common, I don't know? The textbook Google definition of a common law marriage is a marriage in which a couple lives together for a period of time and holds themselves out to friends, family and the community as quote, unquote, being married. But without ever going through a formal ceremony or getting a marriage license.

Rich:

This topic came to life because we actually had one of our listeners that asked us to kind of talk about common law marriage. And I'm gonna be honest, sometimes I struggle talking about topics that I'm like, I don't know about that. I don't know no common law of married people. What does that even talking about? Right? Like I legit had to go research what is common law marriage. But I actually found out something that I did not know. So, common law marriage is not actually recognized in all 50 states.

Nik:

No, it isn't. And I think it's interesting that you bring up the fact that you aren't familiar or haven't been familiar with common law marriage, because while I feel like it's something that's very common in our community, there's people out there that have no experience with common law, marriage. And the truth of the matter is, is it's not recognized in all 50 states. And just based off the little research that I've done, and of course, I'm not a trained, licensed or professional counselor or therapist. I'm also not a trained, licensed or professional attorney.

Rich:

Or researcher.

Nik:

I'm Good researching, now I could find what I need to find. But some of the states where it is legal, right? We have Utah, Texas, South Carolina, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, and of course, our ever so fabulous, wonderful home state of Colorado.

Rich:

When we were doing this research, what surprised me and all my people in the south don't take offense. But I assumed it will be something that will be found more in the southern states, just because it's kind of like, you know, our southern states do whatever they want to do. I mean, let's be real, right? They kind of have always been the rebellious ones. They're the black sheep of the family. I love y'all. I'm not downing y'all. But I mean, I'm just saying that I really assumed this would be more of a southern state thing to actually see that the Bible Belt probably has more states in it, then some of you know the other areas of the United States is really interesting, because common law marriage is pretty much the opposite of legal marriage in some ways, because there's no legal aspect if you leave your state.

Nik:

It is the opposite of legal marriage. Common law marriage is not a marriage. I'm just gonna put that out there.

Rich:

It is in those states that said it is.

Nik:

No, it's not.

Rich:

Why not?

Nik:

It's not. It's not a marriage because first...

Nik:

Okay, let's unpack this just a little bit. I mean, we talking all about Google we talking all about definitions and where it's legal and where it's not. Here's the real deal. Who would even settle for a common law marriage? If you're living up in a house, laying in a bed with somebody for years. Okay? Why wouldn't you just take the next step and get married?

Rich:

I mean, my mom used to say, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

Nik:

I'm a little offended by that.

Rich:

Why?

Nik:

Because it almost feels like you're calling women cows. But

Rich:

No, it could be the man.

Nik:

Okay, it could be the man

Rich:

And I think really, it's not about somebody being the cow, it's the metaphor in this of,

Nik:

I understand.

Rich:

For some people that are in these relationships these common law marriages call it plmarriage because they playin married right. So,

Nik:

Playing married

Rich:

So, we're gonna call it plmarriage,

Nik:

Plmarriage

Rich:

So, people in these plmarriage situations, they are giving away the cow pretty much, giving away this milk for free without actually having to purchase. They goin over next door getting the milk from the farmer's house without actually paying for the cow. And to me, that's what happens when you choose not to truly go all in with this married thing. And I believe there's so many dangers in common law marriage.

Nik:

Oh, yeah.

Rich:

You know, from ownership rights.

Nik:

Yep.

Rich:

You know, so if y'all have built an empire together, and y'all have a house, y'all have cars, you have all these things, and they're in one person's name, there's the possibility that you could lose everything if that person passes away, because legally, you may not have any rights to them.

Nik:

That's right. I think what you're talking about here is the business aspect of marriage. That's a whole nother topic that we can get into if y'all are interested in hearing about that. But yeah, there is that business side of marriage. And I didn't dig into these states and the laws and how, how sticky the common law marriage is. But if your common law married and you die, what happens to your assets? How are you protected? How is your family protected? And as a matter of fact, the listener who wrote into us, this listener said a friend, that she was having a discussion with her and her husband, and I'm sure that it was a very passionate discussion. But a friend that this person knows or maybe their husband knows, we're common law married for 20 years.

Rich:

Alright. We gonna put a pin in this. Did you say 20 years?

Nik:

I said 20. That's two decades.

Rich:

So, you've been living the life with someone for 20 years, but they have never popped the question, or they've popped the question and you just never said yes. For 20 years?

Nik:

20 years, 20 years.

Rich:

Well, whatever came of this is what that person deserved. And I know that sounds mean, it sounds a little harsh. But come on y'all 20 years?

Nik:

20 years.

Rich:

How are you with somebody for 20 years, sleeping in the same bed, cooking meals for them, paying bills, making love, washing they dirty drawls whatever. Wiping the nose when in sickness and in health.

Nik:

Yep.

Rich:

And but you? Huh?

Nik:

How can either party be okay with that? Why is the fake husband the fusband?

Rich:

Yeah, we gonna call him a husband.

Nik:

Why is the fusband and the fake wife, the fife

Rich:

Uh-oh. Barnie Fife?

Nik:

Not Barney Fife.

Rich:

Okay.

Nik:

The fake wife and the fake husband, why are they even okay with that? To me that says so much about the psychology, and I guess the priority that we place marriage in this society. And in certain communities, it is more prevalent than it is in others.

Rich:

But like I said, in the beginning, jokingly, I said, my wife and I were common law married and I you know, pause for dramatic effect, and quickly said, nigga please, it ain't even possible.

Rich:

There is no way on this earth, in the universe, that I could be with Nik for 20 years and not fully commit, because that's how I see a common law marriage, I see it as you not fully committing. You are not willing to actually make this thing legally official. It's not about other people. It's about you taking that final step and saying, will you be my wife, and then more importantly, living out that marriage. Because you are still held back whether you realize it or not when you choose to be in a common law marriage. Because if you live in one of those states, you have some similar rights as someone that is, you know, traditionally gone through the court system and gotten a marriage license. But if you ever leave those states, your marriage means nothing.

Nik:

Doesn't mean anything.

Rich:

Your partnership means nothing.

Nik:

No.

Rich:

If you die, like I mentioned earlier, that fspouse, fake spouse, what did you call the fake spouse?

Rich:

The fusband and the fife.

Rich:

Could end up with nothing. And I think that that is something that if you really love someone, if you really are committed to someone you should be concerned about.

Nik:

You really should be concerned because marriage is more than just a piece of paper. And I've known some common law married people and they'd be like; I only know piece of paper to justify my...

Nik:

Yeah, you do. Yeah, you do. Because that piece of paper protects you from certain things from happening. And of course, we're talking about like, for instance, in this story, this couple was married for 20 years, and they had two children together and then when the fusband died, the woman got nothing but her kids. Nothing but her kids. And I'm not saying that you should build your marriage around what you can get, but I'm gonna tell you, right here and right now, if my husband, not my fusband, not my fake husband, but if my husband dies, I'm getting all the loot.

Rich:

Not half. Everything.

Nik:

Everything.

Rich:

Because that's how the system is created. But you know, there's even other areas, we don't have to wait for somebody to die. Right? We can file our taxes jointly. So, if these common law marriages is only, if it's only recognized by state, that means it's not recognized federally.

Nik:

That's right.

Rich:

So, you are not getting any type of federal benefit that you should be able to get from being with someone else. That means, you still being taxed at the highest rate possible because you considered single to, you know, Uncle Sam, he is not, he don't care that your state recognizes common law marriage. So, you're losing out there.

Rich:

Then from a legal standpoint, when you pass away. One reason I believe this person got nothing is because when you die There's a hierarchy of where things go and how they happen if you don't have a will. And sadly, in our community, and that's who we mainly talking to, right, this is Naked Proverbs, about Black love and marriage. We don't have wills; we don't have those pieces of paper that we need to make things official in our lives a lot of times. So, when that happens, and you're common law married, your stuff's going to probate, it's going to be fought over by your siblings, your parents, your kids, if you had any. And sadly, that man or a woman that fusband or that, the fife, they don't have a dog in the fight. They don't have anything they can say or do to change the situation because they had no legal footing. Other than I've been spending my time with this person, and we've been living in the same house.

Nik:

The benefits, the perceived benefits, I guess, of common law marriage, I guess would be the same quote unquote benefits of a marriage, right? Like, you have somebody to come home to like loneliness is real. Nobody wants to be alone. And I couldn't imagine my life without having my husband to come home to every single day and lay in the bed with. And of course, you know that free access to penis anytime I want it is always a great benefit. But we're partners and...are you laughing cuz I said penis.

Nik:

It's the dick.

Nik:

That vitamin D.

Rich:

Yeah, get it right.

Nik:

Okay. But that, you know, I've always felt so. That's such a vulgar word.

Rich:

What your president say he grabbed me by the

Nik:

See, and that's another vulgar word. I don't say those words very often. I guess if I'm like singing to a song or whatever I might say. I used to be scared of the dick. Now I throw lips to the...okay,

Rich:

Girl.

Nik:

That was Lil Kim. For the young folks that don't know.

Rich:

Look out now. Aye. Podcast. What's our final? And outro we'd like to say it's been nice talking to y'all we bout to go make some things happen. But, uh, no, you know, I think that it's just important to realize that marriage is more than a piece of paper.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

And you can be living and doing all those things that married couples do. But if you have not actually taken that extra step, I'm sorry, you're not married.

Rich:

You're not. Because this isn't about the piece of paper. It's about the deeper meaning of what that piece of paper is. That piece of paper to me, said I forsake all others and you my girl. Like I am committed to you in sickness and health, the good the bad, like, it doesn't matter, and you can walk away from a common law marriage and not have to worry about losing half you don't have to worry about doing. You know, I mean all those, quote unquote negatives of if you end up being divorced, you don't have to worry about that in a common law marriage. So, to me, I think that people don't commit, because they're really not committed.

Nik:

You're not married.

Nik:

They're not committed and it's fake. Like we've been calling everything about a common law marriage fake. The only thing that's probably not fake are the children that you create together.

Nik:

And their love for one another. I mean, they could truly be in love. But I think there's a question of their commitment level.

Nik:

Yes, I would argue how much do you really love someone, if you're not willing to protect that person? Part of your job is to protect me; part of my job is to protect you and our marriage is protection. It's protection for me. It's protection for you is protection for our children. It's protection for our legacy and those that come after us, it's protection. For our assets. Like where's the trust? Where's the protection? So, I, I would argue that do they really love each other? They say it. Love is more than a word.

Rich:

Sometimes though, it's not both people, right? We were listening to that show on OWN the other day.

Nik:

Oh, the ones where they have the two couples in the documentary style. Y'all know what I'm talking about.

Rich:

You know, I already gave OWN a little shout out but anyway. And Kandi Burrus. Y'all know who Kandi is?

Nik:

Yes. Xscape. Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Rich:

She also has a sex toy company

Nik:

and a makeup line.

Rich:

Yeah.

Nik:

And a clothing store.

Rich:

Yeah, all that stuff. Right. She's balling. She's doing it.

Nik:

Boss.

Rich:

Her and, what's your husband's name?

Nik:

Todd.

Rich:

Todd. They were on that show that I was just mentioning right? And he said, I remember when we were dating, that she basically like, seemed like a few weeks in was like, where's this going? And he said, I was kind of like, throwed off because I wasn't really sure where it was going. And then of course, you know, Kandi, she's kind of like my wife, you know, very strong woman. She chimes in and says, let me explain. And she said, look, you know what? I wasn't about to be just playing no game. I'm too old. I done lived life. Either we have a plan to build something together, because we gonna actually get married and have a life together. Or this is just a fling and I'm going to move on because that's not what I'm looking for.

Rich:

And I think unfortunately, there are a lot of men and women that don't hold the other person accountable like that. And they just look at it as well. You know what the situation works. Good enough. You know. I mean, we don't, then they make that statement of well, it's just a piece of paper, even though deep in their heart, they really do want that piece of paper and that total commitment. They want that.

Nik:

Yes, it's a formality that comes with that. And it's not just the married, right, we have a whole podcast about the differences between being married, and a true marriage. So, what are you doing? And I think you said a few seconds ago that it's not always both people that are okay with it. I, again, I disagree with that. And I think it is both people because it takes two people to tango in a common law, marriage.

Rich:

But I mean, I think if somebody finds themselves, so let's say we were dating, right? We started dating in college and next thing you know, you pregnant. And now we have a child on the way. Maybe I'm not really ready to be married and maybe you aren't either, but we find it well, you know, it's wise for us to go ahead and share on expenses because we do have this child. So, let's move in together.

Rich:

Now we moved in together, we graduate from college or whatever your life passion is, you go into it and you're working and you're living this life. And you never really flip that page because it becomes comfortable, and it becomes easy. And it's, it's a familiar place to be in. And I think there are other people out there that are afraid of marriage. Maybe they've seen some bad marriages, maybe their parents were common law married, so they don't think anything of it. That's just normal behavior.

Nik:

All I hear in everything that you just said, is excuses and complacency.

Nik:

And if you about living your life for excuses, and if you're about staying in places that make you feel comfortable and good, then the truth is, you'll never reach the highest heights that life has to offer you anyway. So maybe you should stay in a common law marriage. If that's what you want and that's what you're accustomed to, is making a bunch of excuses and sitting in places of complacency, then yeah, common law marriage is perfect for you.

Nik:

But for those people that want more, desire more, seek more, more of not just love, protection and those things that we talked about earlier, but just more in your life, then I urge you, if you're sitting in a common law marriage, either seriously to get out, because it ain't no divorce. So, we ain't talking about no divorce. Because let's be clear, if you're not married, you are single

Rich:

period.

Nik:

Period. You don't have to stay, and you don't have to work through things. You don't have to be accountable for another person if you're not married.

Rich:

Facts.

Rich:

Like my wife said, if you're in a situation where you are in this common law arrangement kinda thing where you have not made that full commitment. Ask yourself why. And sit down with your fusband or your fouse. What was it?

Nik:

Your fife.

Rich:

Your fife. And y'all really dig deep and find out like, why are we comfortable with getting all the way to the finish line and not crossing? Like, what, what is it about that? Why are we okay with that?

Rich:

And if you want something more, then get something more. Don't just settle, don't accept it. You don't have to accept that.

Rich:

And I think it's also important to remember what is the legacy that you are creating with your children? If you have children in a common law, marriage? You know, what type of standards are you setting, mom or dad, when they know you're not legally married, or they hear the stories you know that will they really married. So, instead of just faking it, create that long, loving legacy so that your children know, like, yes, my parents are married. Don't let shame or fear stop you from doing what you know is really right.

Nik:

We want to thank you so much for tuning into this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy, legal, not common law, marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your legal marriages and indulge in your wives and husbands on a regular basis.

Nik:

Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on.

Nik:

And we will talk to y'all in the next one.

Rich:

Peace.

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