Carrie Grayson And John Mangan Vs. Making A Public Declaration Of Marriage

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A court will probably find that Carrie Grayson and John Mangan did not make a public declaration of marriage to conclude a common law marriage existed. In order to prove the existence of a common law marriage, the party asserting the existence must show (1) present intent and agreement to be married; (2) continuous cohabitation; and (3) public declaration of the marriage. If all three elements are proven then a court will likely find that a common law marriage exists. On the other hand, there will be no conclusion of a common law marriage if at least one of the elements is not satisfied. In the present case the ‘public declaration of the marriage’ element will be analyzed. A jury may infer that there was a public declaration of marriage …show more content…
The mutual acknowledgment in this case, unlike In re Marriage of Gebhardt did not include joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, joint tax filing, joint property, commingled funds, and the parties’ did not list one another as spouses on financial or insurance forms, did not share a last name, or send/receive mail under names that would indicate they were married. Similar to In re Toom the parties’ actions in Grayson depicted an insignificant, to say the least, mutual acknowledgment through finances and other means of references. There was a minimal mutual acknowledgment between Grayson and Mangan due to their joint purchase of three vehicles and their actions to split their household expenses equally between themselves. Moreover, while Mangan never indicated on employment, insurance, or medical forms whether he was married or single, he did however call Grayson “his partner” when forced to describe their relationship on a form to a doctor or insurer. Furthermore, for the first three years of their marriage Grayson did the same as Mangan by never indicating whether she was married or single, but after those three years she always referred to Mangan as her husband. It is important to note that while Mangan did refer to Grayson as “his partner” on given occasions, he only did so when forced to describe their relationship. Mangan never volunteered such an answer in public discourse. He generally referred to Grayson as “his lady friend.” It is appropriate to draw the conclusion that if Mangan had never been forced to disclose the description of his relationship with Grayson, he would not have freely indicated to anyone that she was “his partner.” Again, the wording is important here in the facts because it suggests that Mangan was obligated by the insurer or doctor to give a particular answer. Likewise,

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