Apparently in 2003, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued the PNC Bank v. Stamos decision, where the court seemed to say that common law couples do no have the right of benefits/property as are allowed to married couples.
The best thing to do would be to go to a lawyer or your local courthouse and ask if common law marriages are still recognized in PA.
Depending on what rights you are wanting, you might also consider executing durable powers of attorney for each other, that will protect some of them.
Unmarried couples can safely and easily master the majority of legal rules that affect them. By understanding the law, you and your partner can make informed decisions about how to structure your life, finances, property ownership, and family relationships to best meet your needs. You may want to write a will to ensure that your partner gets your property when you die, sign paternity statements to ensure that a father's parental rights are preserved, or create a "living together contract" to avoid protracted court battles over property if you split up. You can order these forms at www.nolo.com. Nolo also publishes a book called Living Together: A Legal Guide for Unmarried Couples which provides dozens of written documents (both as tear-out forms and on CD) including a will, codicil, an agreement for a joint purchase, a home buyout agreement and more.
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