Common law marriage is also known as marriage without formalities. Others call it an informal marriage. It is a valid and legal way for a couple to marry in Texas. Section 2.401 of the Texas Family Code noted that a common law marriage may be proved by evidence that the couple represented to others that they were married.
How do you prove common law marriage in Texas?
- Both parties, at age of majority, must agree to the marriage,
- Live together in Texas as husband and wife,
- Not married to other persons, and
- Hold themselves out to the public as a married couple.
How many years do you have to live together for common law marriage in Texas?
Factors that you can use to prove common law marriage?
The court can infer there is an agreement to be married and holding out to others by proof that you lived together. Also, if:
- you told others that you were married,
- used your partner’s last name,
- filed joint tax returns as spouses or as a married person filing singly,
- signed leases or other documents as spouses, made joint purchases,
- included your partner on your health insurance,
- made your partner the beneficiary of a life insurance policy,
- made joint loan applications or agreements,
- applied for public benefits and listed your partner as “spouse”,
- having children together, and
- a witness or family member can testify about your informal marriage.
Note that introducing your partner as your spouse on a single occasion may not be enough by itself; however, you can use it with other evidence to prove requirement #4 above.
Overall, you may need to prove the validity of your marriage for divorce. Talk to a family attorney about your specific facts. (832) 529-1255