Washington: Late actor Gary Coleman`s ex-wife has officially filed a petition in Utah requesting the court identify her union with the `Diff`rent Strokes` star as common law marriage.
Shannon Price and Coleman had married in August 2007 and divorced in 2008, but Price claims they rekindled their relationship and were common law husband and wife up until he passed away on May 28.
"Today we`re filing papers asking the court to recognize that they [Shannon and Gary] were legally married under common law," Radar Online quoted Bradford as saying.
"In Utah, if you`re common law marriage you`re the same as if you were married by ceremony. You`re recognized as being married for all the same purposes as a married couple is," he stated.
According to the state of Utah`s common law marriage code, five conditions have to be met: both parties are of legal marriage age and are able to give consent, are capable of being married, live(d) together as man and wife, assume(d) marital responsibilities and duties, and "held themselves out" as husband and wife and others perceive(d) them to be married.
Among the reasons listed in the documents that Bradford claims prove Price and Coleman``s union was a common law marriage are: the couple continued a "romantic relationship" even after the divorce; they attended to each others physical, emotional and welfare needs; filed joint taxes; celebrated holidays together; and jointly owned and shared personal property.
The other parties involved in the case, include the actor`s parents Willie and Edmonia Sue Coleman, Anna Gray, and special administrator Robert Jeffs, will have 20 days to file any objections.
"I don`t know what other information they would file trying to disprove a common law marriage," Bradford said.
"I think this is going to be one of the bigger issues in determining the rights of all the parties.
"We`re going to see if they file anything in the next 20 days. I don`t think the parents` attorney would. If anyone, I`m guessing it would be Anna`s attorney," he added.