There are many misconceptions when it comes to what is considered and what is not considered a common law marriage in the State of Texas. Typically, people believe that if a man and woman live together for an extended period of time, their union may translate into a common law marriage. However, common law marriage is dictated by state law and certain requirements must be met before a couple qualifies as being “common law wed”.
Although no formal ceremonies or legal proceedings may have occurred, certain conditions of your coupledom may exist which create an informal marriage, which will entail all the rights and responsibilities of a formal marriage. In the great state of Texas, there are three general requirements in order to have a valid common law marriage between a man and a woman. For a valid common law marriage to take place, a man and a woman must have agreed to be married. Secondly, after such an agreement to be married, the man and woman must live together in the State of Texas. Lastly, the man and woman who agreed to be married and moved in together must represent to others that they are in fact married. If a couple in Texas fulfills these three requirements, a marriage without the typical formalities may be recognized under state law.
Not everyone can be subjected to the unity of such an informal marriage despite fulfilling the three requirements of a common law marriage. For example, a person under 18 years of age may not be a party to a common law marriage. Likewise, a person who is currently married, despite fulfilling the three aforementioned requirements, cannot be the subject of a common law marriage.
Common law marriage is often considered a vestige of an old world view of wedded unification. Most states do not recognize common-law marriage due to its informal nature, however, the State of Texas remains one of the few states still willing to uphold such a union. Whether your union can be recognized as a common law marriage in the State of Texas is a legal matter that is best assessed under the supervision of a family lawyer. If you or someone you know is contemplating whether your union fulfills the requirements of a common law marriage in Texas, contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Lauren Cain in Frisco, please call 214-326-4664, to navigate this legal process.