common law state - Legal Definition
Webster's New World Law Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.
A state whose rules governing the ownership, division and inheritance of income and property acquired by a husband or wife during the course of their marriage holds that, subject to various qualifications, each spouse owns and has complete control over his or her own income and property. Also called common law property state and separate property state. See also elective share, equitable distribution, property, and community property state.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.