Consensus Non Concubitus Facit Matrimonium Law and Legal Definition

Consensus non concubitus facit matrimonium is a legal maxim in Latin. It means the meeting of the minds, and not cohabitation, constitutes a marriage. This was a maxim of the common law, the civil law, and the ecclesiastical law. The principle denotes that only mutual consent is necessary to constitute a marriage.

The following is an example of a case law referring to the maxim:

The maxim of the civil law was "Consensus non concubitus facit matrimonium." The whole law on the subject is that, to render competent parties husband and wife, they must and need only agree in the present tense to be such, no time being contemplated to elapse before the assumption of the status. If cohabitation follows, it adds nothing in law, although it may be evidence of marriage. It is mutual, present consent, lawfully expressed, which makes the marriage. An agreement to keep the marriage secret does not invalidate it, although the fact of secrecy might be evidence that no marriage ever took place.