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Resource Information Center: El Salvador - Information on Common Law Marriages

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Response to Information Request Number:SLV00001.ZHN
Date:20 January 2000
Subject:El Salvador: Information on Common Law Marriages
From:INS Resource Information Center

El Salvador / Common law marriage / Laws / Family Law / Marriage / Women


When were common law marriages recognized in El Salvador? What are the requirements to establish a common law relationship?


According to a Political Officer of the Embassy of El Salvador in Washington, DC, the Family Code passed on December 13, 1993 legally recognizes common law marriages. Couples living together for three years enjoy the same rights in terms of property and child custody as all married couples. (Embassy of El Salvador) A researcher with the Law Library of Congress indicates that these "non-matrimonial unions" (El Salvador is not a common law country, and therefore the term "common law marriage" is not used) must be declared in court in order to benefit from the protection granted in the Code. (Non-Matrimonial Unions in El Salvador November 1999, 2) The Department of State Country Report indicates that this law was enacted to counter the discrimination experienced by the large number of women in common law marriages. (Country Reports 1998 ¿ Volume I 1999, 624.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1998. 1999. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

Non-Matrimonial Unions in El Salvador. November 1999. Law Library of Congress. Washington, DC.

Political Officer, Embassy of El Salvador. Washington, DC. 19 January 2000. Telephone Interview.

Other Sources Consulted:



Region file, The Americas. Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Reports. October

1993 to January 19, 2000.


Non-Matrimonial Unions in El Salvador. November 1999. Law Library of Congress. Washington, DC.

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