What is the difference between ceremonial marriage and common law marriage?

“What is the difference between ceremonial marriage and common law marriage in Oklahoma?”  Legally speaking, the only difference is how a couple becomes married.  The main and obvious elements of a ceremonial marriage are a ceremony conducted by either a judge or clergy, two adult witnesses, and the officiant and witnesses sign the marriage certificate.  On the other hand, in Oklahoma, common law marriage  requires a mutual agreement between the parties to be married, a permanent and exclusive relationship, and the couple holds themselves out to the public in some manner as being married.  Often, the most difficult to prove is an agreement to be married.  Since there is, far too often, a party that claims he/she never agreed to being married to the other, there are elements in which one can prove such agreement.  Actions such as cohabitation, actions consistent with a spouse, recognition in the community as being married, and a clear declaration by the parties that they are husband and wife will prove there was an agreement between the parties. 
Keenan Haught
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