(Common law marriage (aka sui juris marriage, informal marriage, the rather long-winded “marriage by habit and repute” and the rather judgmental living in sin), is legally recognized in some countries as a marriage, even though no legally recognized marriage ceremony is performed or civil marriage contract entered into. The term “common-law marriage” has been used in England and Wales since the 1960s to refer to unmarried, cohabiting heterosexual relationships. However, this is merely a social usage and in the UK the term does not confer on cohabiting parties any of the rights or obligations enjoyed by spouses or civil partners, thus when a cohabiting relationship ends ownership of any assets will be decided by property law. The courts have no discretion to reallocate assets, as occurs on divorce.)
Common law marriage was abolished in the UK in 1753.