Common-Law Wife Law and Legal Definition

Generally, common law wife is a woman who was party to a common law marriage. It also means a woman who is living with a man in a relation of concubinage during his life as if she were his wife. She is to be distinguished from a mistress, where the relationship may be casual, impermanent, and secret. Such a woman can assert a claim, after his death to have been his wife according to the requirement of the common law.