Common Law Marriage
What forms a common law marriage in Texas?
Common law marriages present many questions and misunderstandings. A person in a common law marriage may be unaware of the elements that must be present to form a common law marriage in Texas. The following three elements must be present:
- You must agree to be married.
- You must have represented yourself to others that you were married — that is, “held yourselves out” as husband and wife. This can include social introductions or documents such as joint income tax returns.
- You must have lived together in the state of Texas.
When a common law marriage ends
The end of a common law relationship can be remarkably similar to the end of a traditional marriage. Due to community property laws and other factors, it is recommended that you obtain an actual divorce to end the relationship, which will preserve your rights to any property that has been accumulated during the marriage.