Common Law Marriage does exist in Texas, but there is more to it than you might think.

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What is Common Law Marriage or Informal Marriage?

a legally recognized marriage between two people who have not purchased a marriage license or had their marriage solemnized by a ceremony

When you think of Common Law Marriage, you think, "oh y'all have been together and lived together so you're Common Law. "

That's not exactly how it works.  There are some things you do have to do and have to follow.

Here is what you have to do to be Common Law married:

  • You cannot already be married to anyone else at the time your marriage was created.
  • Each person in the marriage must be over 18 years of age when you created the marriage.
  • You both agree to be married
  • You have represented yourself in public as married
  • Live as a married couple

For your marriage to be legally recognized you'll need a Declaration of Informal Marriage.

If you don't want all the hoopla of a wedding, getting a marriage license or even going to the Justice of the Peace, all you have to do to be married, is say I am married to you, and your partner has to agree, you have to let friends, family, and the public know you're married, and you have to live together as a married couple.  Congratulations, you're Common Law.

What about Divorce?

In Texas a divorce for Common Law Marriage is the same for a Formal Marriage.

You saved money on the wedding, but you won't save money on a divorce.  So I hope your Common Law is happily ever after.

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