What Is Common Law Marriage? Is there a Common Law Divorce?


The state of Texas does recognize Informal Marriage, which is often referred to as “common law marriage” by many people. The Texas Family Code lists specific requirements for the existence of an informal marriage. An informal marriage may exist if the parties agreed to marry, the parties live together as spouses, and the parties “hold themselves out” as married. In some cases, the parties may have filed a Declaration of Informal Marriage to establish that they are married, although a Declaration is not required.

Spouses who are married informally generally have the same rights and duties as spouses who choose to be formally married. Similarly, to end an informal marriage requires a legal dissolution of the marriage. Texas does not a have a common law divorce as some might expect. If you have questions or concerns about establishing the existence of a common law marriage and beginning the divorce process, call our office for a consultation to discuss your concerns.


Chris M. Kirker

Christopher M. Kirker is a Partner and Trial Attorney at Kirker Davis for complex family law litigation, primarily high-net-worth Texas divorce, custody, division of property, business ownership litigation, and trial consulting.

Education: Baylor University School of Law, cum laude, J.D. (2010)
Years of Experience: +13 years
Justia Profile: Christopher M. Kirker



Related Articles


This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Co-founding Partner, Chris Kirker who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

Austin Family Attorneys

Is Divorce Imminent

Download “The 4 Steps In Every Divorce” eBook so you can be better prepared

Download Now

Austin Family Attorneys

Request Consultation

A strategic step towards resolution

Submit a Request
  • Austin Office