Many people think that the only action that must be taken to establish common law marriage is co-habitation for a certain number of years. This is not true. Three specific elements must be met in order to prove common law marriage. First, there must be co-habitation. Second, the parties must co-mingle their funds ($). Third, the parties must "hold out" as married, or refer to each other as husband and wife.
Simply living together is not enough, no matter how long you do so. Living together and for example, filing taxes as married can create common law marriage since the tax return can be seen as both claiming each other as a spouse (holding out) and combining funds.