Common law marriage was abolished in the UK in 1753.

(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.)