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.