Iggy Azalea's Divorce Case Illustrates the Issues Surrounding Common Law Marriages


Last week, it was announced that rapper Iggy Azalea was being served with divorce papers from Hefe Wine (aka Maurice Williams). The announcement came as a shock to Azalea's fans, since she's never actually been married and has been dating Lakers star Nick Young for the past year.

Wine is arguing that he and Azalea have been in a common law marriage since 2008. In Texas, where the papers were filed, a man and woman who live together for any length of time are considered to be in a common law marriage if they mutually agree to be wed and present themselves to others as a married couple.

Azalea denies that she ever agreed their relationship was the equivalent of a marriage, pointing out that she was just 17 when they began dating. Azalea has previously filed a lawsuit against Wine that claims he illegally downloaded the contents of her computer while they were living together in Georgia in 2009.

Wine wants the court to bar Azalea from selling assets acquired during their relationship and is seeking to have any of her music that was written during their relationship declared community property. If the claim is approved, profits from "Fancy" and Azalea's other tunes could be split 50/50.

California does not recognize common law marriage. However, it is possible for non-married partners to bring a Marvin Claim for support after a breakup. This is what is commonly referred to as "palimony". To successfully win a Marvin Claim, the person seeking support must have lived with his or her partner for an extended period of time and had an expressed or implied agreement regarding property sharing and financial support. Claims are most likely to be approved if the person seeking support performed valuable services for his or her former partner, such as helping at the partner's business or providing child care so the partner could work longer hours.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation relating to a Marvin Claim or spousal support issue, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena family law attorneys can advocate for your interests throughout the process.