Informal Marriage in Texas
A few states recognize an institution of informal marriage, including Texas. Informal marriage is also sometimes known as “common-law marriage.”
An informal marriage occurs when a couple lives together for a certain period of time, and holds themselves out during that time as husband and wife. When a common law marriage is found, all the legal benefits associated with marriage are granted, without the formalities associated with more traditional marriage.
In order for an informal marriage to be granted in Texas, several facts must be proven. First, the parties must be a man and a woman. Texas does not currently recognize same-sex marriage in any form. The parties must not have been divorced within the past 30 days. The parties must be 18 or older. The parties must also not be closely related.
Once these facts are shown, the parties must show that they intended and agreed to be married, that they lived together and held themselves out to the community as husband and wife, and that they have represented themselves, in public, as married. All of these requirements must exist at the same time for the informal marriage to be valid.
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Last Modified: 08-24-2012 04:41 PM PDT