A number of states, including Texas, recognize the institution of informal marriage, which is also known as "common-law marriage."
Establishment of an Informal Marriage
An informal, common law 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 marriages are granted, without the formalities associated with the traditional marriage. However, there may be certain situations where common law spouses will need to provide an affidavit of marriage to prove that they are actually married.
In order for an informal marriage to be granted in Texas, all of the following must be shown:
- The parties must be a man and a woman (because Texas does not 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.
- The parties intended and agreed to be married.
- The parties have represented themselves, in public, as married.
Consulting an Family Law Attorney in Texas
A Texas family law lawyer can help you prove the validity of a common-law marriage. Moreover, a family lawyer can advise you on any legal matters associated with informal marriages.