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Do You Have a Common Law Marriage?

I am writing which to be Texas-centric. I recently read an article in a national publication which confidently stated which there will be no common law marriage.  which’s probably true in about 42 additional states, however not so in Texas.

Common law marriage will be an old concept which has withstood many attacks through the years.  which has changed will be some ways, however which will be still in effect along with which can lead to problems or benefits, depending on your point of view.

1.  will be there common law marriage in Texas?  Yes.  which’s even spelled out within the Texas Family Code, the statute which governs family law issues in Texas.

2.  How does someone become common law married?  There are three requirements which all have to be met.

  • A couple must live together as spouses.
  • They must have an agreement which they are married.
  • They must hold out, or represent, to others which they are married.   
All three events must be present for there to be a common law marriage.

3.  Things which alone don’t automatically create a common law marriage:
  • A couple living together.  The most common mistaken belief about common law marriage will be which if a couple lives together for “a certain period of time” (the length varies via story to story), they are common law married.  Not True. You need all three requirements.
  • Giving the partner a ring.  which’s not one of the three requirements.  which could be some evidence of the agreement, however which’s not conclusive.
  • Having kids together.  which’s not one of the three requirements. which happens all the time outside of marriage.  which could create some sympathy, however which doesn’t do much for a case.
  • Having joint bank accounts. which’s not one of the three requirements. 
  • Sharing expenses. which’s not one of the three requirements. 
  • Buying a house together. which’s not one of the three requirements. Engaged along with non-engaged couples buy houses frequently.  which doesn’t do much for the case, unless the paperwork mentions which the couple will be married.
  • Photos showing the couple together at various events. which’s not one of the three requirements. 
  • An agreement which the parties will get married within the future. The agreement must be which they are currently married, not within the future.  Also, both people must agree which they are married, not just one of them.
 4.  Facts which can support a finding of a common law marriage:
  • Filing joint tax returns.
  • Buying real estate or additional major purchases where the paperwork refers to the couple as married.
  • Any signed affidavits stating the couple will be married.
  • Statements to third parties about the couple being married.
  • Job applications along with additional important documents where the marital status will be designated as married.
  • Insurance records showing a marital status of married.
  • Retirement asset paperwork referring to a spouse or indicating a marital status of married.
There are a lot of misconceptions about common law marriage.  If you think you may have a common law marriage, you should meet having a lawyer to find out if you have a case.  A trial about common law marriage can be complicated along with difficult.  You definitely will need a lawyer to help if you get into litigation about common law marriage.

Bonus Information:  If you have a common law marriage, you can use Collaborative Law to do a divorce.

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