Interracial couple entering a common law marriage.

What Are the Requirements for a Common Law Marriage?

Texas is one of the few states that recognizes common law marriage. If you and your partner meet certain legal requirements in Texas, you will be considered married by common law. Common law marriage has many benefits, the primary one being legal recognition of your relationship by the state of Texas. In addition, common law marriage offers couples the same rights as those enjoyed by other married couples, including inheritance rights, property division rights, and alimony. However, before making decisions based on the belief that you and your partner are married by common law, it’s important to make sure that you meet all of the state’s legal requirements. Below are the requirements for common law marriage in Texas. If you have any additional questions, please contact a Texas family law attorney

What is Common Law Marriage? 

A common law marriage is a legally recognized marriage that is established when a couple meets certain requirements. When a couple wants to end a common law marriage, the parties must obtain a divorce just like a couple in a traditional marriage. Common law marriage, like traditional marriage, has pros and cons. For example, although many people find common law marriage convenient, some states won’t recognize the validity of a Texas common law marriage, and people in common law marriages sometimes face legal challenges when attempting to claim an inheritance following the death of a spouse. That being said, the pros of marriage, whether traditional or common law, generally outweigh the cons. 

The Requirements for a Common Law Marriage in Texas 

Simply living together for a certain period of time doesn’t automatically create a common law marriage in Texas. In order to be considered married by common law in Texas, a couple must meet the following requirements:

  • The couple must agree to be married,
  • The couple must agree to live together as husband and wife, and
  • The couple must represent themselves to others as a married couple.

In addition to these requirements, a couple that wishes to enter into a common law marriage in Texas must have the legal capacity to do so. This means that each spouse must be at least 18 years of age (this applies even with parental permission), neither spouse may be related to the other, and neither spouse may be married to anyone else. 

Contact Our Texas Family Law Attorney Today

At Youngberg Law Firm, our experienced family law attorney is here to assist you with your Texas family law issue, no matter what it may be. At Youngberg Law Firm, you can rest assured that we will always treat you with dignity and respect while working towards the best possible solution in your case. In order to ensure that your Texas family law issue is handled with the utmost care, please contact us today for a consultation.