A common law or informal marriage is recognized in Texas as a legal marriage. You do NOT need a marriage ceremony to be legally married in the State of Texas.
However, you must comply with certain requirements by law to create a common law marriage. Those requirements are the following:
- you agreed to be married;
- lived together as spouses after the fact; and
- you represented to third parties that you are married.
In addition to the requirements listed above, you must comply with the legal requirements in Texas to enter into a marriage, such as:
- you cannot be legally married to anyone else at the time your current marriage was created; and
- you and your spouse must be over the age of 18 at the time your marriage is created.
You do not need to live together with your partner for a specific amount of time or have children together to create a common law marriage. A common misconception is that if you live with your partner for 6 months, a common law marriage is automatically created.
The requirements to enter into a common law marriage described above must be proven to determine if you are in a common law marriage, and not just the amount of time you have lived together with your partner. You may suffer financial consequences at the time you separate from your partner if you are in a common law marriage.
Do You Need the Guidance of an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Dallas, Texas?
If you are not sure if you are married to your partner, call our office at 214-559-7202 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.