New York State law does not authorize common law marriages NY

  1. Even though New York State law does not authorize common law marriages NY courts will recognize and honor the common law marriages entered into in other states that recognize such marriages. By what constitutional principle does NY do this?
  2. What is meant by the term “Standing”?
  3. What is the name of the Court of Appeals case that deals with a custody base between a non-parent and a parent?
  4. What is a “Lincoln” hearing in a child custody case ?
  5. What are forensics in a child custody case? Give two examples.
  6. What relationships are considered incestuous ?


  1. Henry and Wanda lived together in New York State starting in 1998. They were never formally married but lived together during that time and held themselves out as husband and wife. In 2014 the couple travelled to Kansas where they lived for six months. Under the laws of Kansas they would qualify as common law husband and wife. They then returned to New York and lived together until Wanda died in 2019. She died in an accident at work.

Wanda’s employer provides survivor’s benefits for the spouses of employees who were killed at work. Henry applied for the benefits but was rejected because he could not show a marriage certificate. Henry brought a law suit to recover the benefits. What should be the result?

24, Alice and Bill were dating. One year Bill gave Alice a ring on her birthday. Along with it he gave her a card that read “Happy Birthday, love, Bill.” Two months later they became engaged to be married. Four months after that Alice broke off the engagement. Bill asked for the ring back and Alice refused. Bill has sued to get the ring back alleging that she broke the engagement so she should not get to keep the ring. Will he succeed ?

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