Q: We own a home together and have been on each other’s health and life insurance policies. His friends and coworkers believe we are married, as I wear a ring and he refers to me in public “as his wife”. We never got married because I was married previously and had to pay my loser ex-husband spousal support, as he made less money than I. I didn’t want to get stuck in the same boat again. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Common law marriage was abolished on January 2, 2005 in PA. However, if you were in such a domestic relationship before this date, you can establish a common law marriage in court, depending on the facts. You would have the burden of proof and it is very difficult to do. You may want to propose to him and get it over with.
Q: Can I being on Probation and house arrest marry my fiancé who is on federal parole? I am on house arrest for my 3rd DUI. He came home 6 months ago from the Federal prison. Are we still able to get married and if so how do we go about it the correct way without getting into extra trouble. (Coraopolis, PA)
A: Sounds like you have some common bonds. I can’t think of anything that would legally prevent your marriage unless it violates the terms of either of your probation about not associating with each other. If it is not specified in the written sentencing order or probation condition documents, the probation officer can still object to you cohabiting due to a history of drugs, domestic violence or other criminal behavior. In that case, you can might be able to put a motion in front of the judge asking that such condition be lifted.
Q: When a 65 year old woman gets married can she lose her Medicaid benefits? My prospective husband does not make a good income.
A: Yes. Medicaid eligibility depends on income and resource and income and assets from one spouse can be attributed to the other spouse, in some cases. If you marry, your spouse’s income and resources could [but may not] cause you to lose Medicaid. Consult an elder law attorney to learn your options.