Common Law Marriage

Attorney Offering Dissolution Services

There is a lot of confusion surrounding common law marriage in the state of Texas. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that they are considered legally married.

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At Richard T. Bell & Associates, in Sugar Land, Texas, we can help clarify any misconceptions regarding common law marriage. With nearly 15 years of experience, family law attorney Richard T. Bell has a comprehensive understanding of common law marriage in Texas. Rest assured, he will always take the time to answer your questions and explain your legal options.

Requirements for a Common Law Marriage

Texas law requires three elements in order for a couple to be considered part of a common law marriage. First, there must be an agreement to be married. This can be a formal engagement or any occurrence of a verbal conversation.

Second, the couple must present themselves to the public as a married. This may include introducing a partner as a spouse, filing a joint tax return, co-application for a motor vehicle loan, or even something as simple as giving one another an anniversary card titled "to my husband" or "to my wife".

Finally, a couple must be living together or have lived together in Texas. Contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum or maximum cohabitation period that automatically makes you and your partner part of a common law marriage.

Dissolving a Common Law Marriage

If you and your partner are indeed part of a common law marriage, the only way to legally end your partnership is through the divorce process. You will face the same divorce-related issues as a traditionally married couple, including property division, child support and child custody.

To determine whether you and your partner are in a common law marriage or to discuss how to end your partnership, contact our Sugar Land family law attorney.