Is There Common Law Marriage in Texas?

If you live with someone else for a long time but do not get married, do you have a common law marriage?

For many couples, going through the formal process of getting married just does not feel right. While people may love each other, they may decide that getting officially married just is not for them. That being said, couples may still be able to derive the benefits of legal marriage without going through all the hoopla. Here is what you should know about common law marriages in our state.

What is a Common Law Marriage?

As explained by a guide published by the Texas State Law Library, a common law marriage is an informal marriage that is equally as valid and legal of a way for couples to marry. A common law marriage can result in a divorce just like a regular marriage. And during a separation from a common law marriage, property will be divided just as though the couple had gone through the formal process of getting married.

How Do Parties Get a Common Law Marriage in Texas?

There are three elements that need to be satisfied in order to satisfy the criteria of a common law marriage. First, the couples must agree to be married. Second, the couple must live together. And third, the couple must represent to others that they are married, for example, calling each other husband and wife. Same-sex couples can get a common law marriage, and there is no limit on the amount of time that a couple must live together before they have a common law marriage.

I am Not Married, but My Partner is Claiming That We Need to Divide Our Property if We Separate: Is This True?

Because having a common law marriage does not require any special ceremony or amount of time, it can be confusing to know whether or not you have a common law marriage. If you are separating from your partner, who claims that you do have a common law marriage and therefore need to divide property in a way that is fair and just, you should talk to an attorney. The burden of proof will rest on your partner to prove that you had a common law marriage, which will require proving the three elements listed above. If you dispute that you are in a common law marriage, you should immediately talk to a divorce and family law attorney who can represent you during the process.

Call Our Pearland Texas Family Law Attorneys Today

At the office of John Powell III, P.C., our Texas family law attorneys know that divorce and separation are both complicated. What may be even more complicated, though, is not knowing whether or not your relationship is even subjected to the rules of a traditional divorce because you are unsure of the laws surrounding common law marriage in our state. To learn more and to get the help you need please call our Texas family law attorneys today.