Are You Common Law Married in Texas?

common-lawTexas is one of the handful of states that do recognize common law or informal marriage as a legal marriage. This is a very big distinction in a community property state like Texas because once you are treated as married the only way you can end the marriage is through a divorce and the community property division rules come in to play at that time. So what are the requirements for a court to say you are in a common law or informal marriage? They are:

  1. You and your spouse agreed to be married; and
  2. After you both agreed to be married you lived together in Texas as husband and wife; and
  3. You represented to others that you were married.

If all three of those facts exist in your case then you may be in a common law marriage. If all three of those facts do not exist then you may not be in a common law marriage.

Two Year Deadline

If your common law marriage was never formalized through the Declaration and Registration procedures, then you have a two year window after you separated and stopped living together to bring a divorce action based on the existence of the common law marriage. You can still file for divorce after that date, but you will have to overcome a presumption that you did not enter into an agreement to be married.

To find out more about divorce in The Woodlands and Montgomery County, download your free copy of our Woodlands Divorce Guide updated for 2015.

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