If you want the benefits of marriage without having to go through any sort of wedding ceremony first, common law marriage might be the right choice for you. Not every state recognizes common law marriages, and even if yours does, you and your significant other will have to prove a few facts first.
So, is there common law marriage in Texas? And what are the Texas common law marriage requirements? Learn the answers to these questions—as well as information about common law divorce in Texas.
Does Texas Recognize Common Law Marriage?
First, is common law marriage legal in Texas?
The answer is yes. However, it’s important to know about the Texas common law marriage statute before you depend on it to take the next step in your relationship. Let’s start with the basic Texas common law marriage rules.
What Is Common Law Marriage in Texas?
In Texas, common law marriage allows you to be named husband and wife without getting a marriage license or having a ceremony. This means you don’t even have to go to the courthouse to be considered married in Texas. Of course, not just anyone can achieve common law marriage in Texas. There are a few rules to follow.
What Are the Requirements for Common Law Marriage in Texas?
If you’re wondering how to get common law married in Texas, know that you first must both agree to be married.
Next, you must live together in a home as husband and wife. Keep in mind that there’s no set amount of time that must pass while you live together, so it can be months or years.
Finally, you must have told other people that you’re married. Basically, to have a common law marriage in Texas, you must live like you’re married, which shouldn’t be hard for couples that want their relationship to have this status.
How to Get Common Law Married in Texas
So, is common law marriage recognized in Texas? Yes, as long as you follow all the requirements. That means you need to start telling people you’re married. Introduce your significant other as your husband or wife instead of your boyfriend or girlfriend.
You should also live together, or even buy a house together. Buying a car together and signing up for a joint credit card or checking account are also steps you can take toward getting common law married in Texas.
How to Prove Common Law Marriage in Texas
If you’re worried about how to prove common law marriage in Texas, note that you can register your relationship status with the local courthouse. This involves filling out a Texas common law marriage form, which requires a small filing fee and proof of identification for each of you.
This will prove that you’re over 18, since no one under 18 years old can get common law married in this state. Though you don’t have to register your common law marriage in Texas, it may be helpful to do so in case you ever need to get a common law marriage divorce.
How to Get a Common Law Marriage Divorce
Now that you know how common law marriage works in Texas, you should learn about common law divorce in this state.
In short, it works like divorce does in any marriage, except you will have to prove that you were married. When you have a traditional marriage, complete with a marriage license, this is easy to do. But with a common law marriage, it might take more effort, unless you registered your marriage with the court.
If you didn’t register your marriage with the court, you will have to spend time showing that you met all the requirements for common law marriage in Texas. If you don’t prove you lived as husband and wife, the court will treat your breakup as if you were never married, which means you won’t get the legal protections of divorce for issues like division of property or Texas spousal support.
Whether you need help with common law marriage or common law divorce in Texas, you deserve to get legal advice from a team that has experience with these issues.
Contact the Moffett Law Firm today to get representation from Houston family law attorneys who care.