Common Law Marriages

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Marriage is controlled by statute and not common law in Tennessee.  Although Tennessee does not recognize common law marriages, Tennessee will recognize a valid common law marriage entered into in a jurisdiction which recognizes common law marriages.  In re Estate of Glover, 882 S.W.2d 789 (Tenn. App. 1994); Andrew v. Signal Auto Parts, Inc., 492 S.W.2d 222 (Tenn. 1972); Lightsey v. Lightsey, 407 S.W.2d 684, 56 Tenn. App. 394 (Tenn. App. 1966); Troxel v. Jones, 322 S.W.2d 251, 45 Tenn. App. 264 (Tenn. App. 1959).  But see Crawford v. Crawford, 198 Tenn. 9, 277 S.W.2d 389 (1955) (under exceptional circumstances, parties may be estopped to deny their marriage under the doctrine of marriage by estoppel).