It Is Not Required That You Live Together Non-stop To Prove Common Law Marriage

Cohabitation need not be continuous for a couple to enter into a common- law marriage. Bolash v. Heid, 733 S.W.2d 698, 699 (Tex. App.—San Antonio)

Just Calling Him Husband From Time to Time Is Not Enough To Prove Common Law Marriage.

Occasional references to one another as husband and wife is not enough.  Flores v. Flores, 847 S.W.2d 648, 652, (Tex. App.—Waco 1993, writ denied).

INTRODUCING Him As Your Husband is Also Not Enough To Prove Common Law Marriage.

Introducing them as husband and wife to friends is not enough. Bolas v Heid, 733 SW2d 698 (Court of Appeals-San Antonio 1987).

Common Law Marriage in Texas Definition & What is Common Law Marriage

(Are you common law married?- Here are the requirements:

An informal or common-law marriage exists in Texas if the parties

(1) agree to be married,

(2) live together in Texas as husband and wife after the agreement, and

(3) represent to others that they are married. See TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 2.401(a)(West 2006)

Case that defines common law marriage: In Interest of CMV, 479 SW 3d 352 – Tex: Court of Appeals, 8th Dist. 2015

So, YES, Texas law recognizes common law marriage as valid so long as your marriage meets these 3 items as listed above.

Are you common law married in Texas if you are living together for 6 months? (Yes)

If you agree to be married, and live together, and tell others you are married, if even for a day, then you are common law married.  So yes, 6 months is enough to be common law married in Texas.

How long is common law marriage? Once you meet the three conditions, the marriage lasts until you are divorced or passed away.

The common law marriage is considered to legally begin on the same day that all three of the conditions are met that: 1) you agree to be married; 2) you live together; 3) you represent to others that you are married.  The marriage will then last until divorce or until one person passes away. Merely moving out of the same house will not end the marriage.

What is a Texas common law affidavit? A Document That Helps To Prove You Have a Common Law Marriage

There is no such thing as a common law affidavit or common law marriage form or certificate per se.  Here is an example of a declaration of informal marriage.

You do not have to file any document to be common law married. However, if you wish to both sign an agreement memorializing that you are married, you can.  Here is a link to one:   Informal Marriage Certificate

How Can You Prove You Have a Common Law Marriage?

The dispute as to whether you are married usually arises in the context of divorce.  One person is leaving, and the other is laying claim on assets.  In these sorts of legal disputes you will put on any common sense evidence you can think of to show that you lived together, agreed to be married, and told others you are married.

Types of Evidence People Use To Prove Informal Marriage:

  • Tax returns
  • Deeds
  • Pictures
  • The existence of name change
  • Witnesses that vouch to say that the couple indicated to others that they are married.
  • Declaration of informal marriage (above)
  • Text messages
  • Emails referring to a spouse

Ben Le Fort Advises Nicely When You Should Pay Off Your Significant Other's Debt (click article icon to read more)

Yet, keep in mind that paying off debt for someone lends itself to proving a common law marriage exists.  If that is your intent, then fine, but be aware that kind actions can result in unintended evidence.  Trust the person you are paying for, before you tie your finances to theirs.

Another Way to Prove Common Law Marriage is By Obtaining Affidavits From Witnesses

A lawyer here in Texas in 2018, filed the following form of affdavit with a court to prove a common law marriage existed:



Two people are married if they agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in Texas as spouses and they represented to others that they were married.

Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared ______________________, (“Affiant”) who, being first duly sworn, upon oath states: to My name is ____________________, and I live at _____________________________. I am personally familiar with the family and marital history of {$spouse1} and {$spouse2} and I have personal knowledge of the facts stated in this affidavit


How did/do you know {$spouse1} and {$spouse2}?



Did you believe {$spouse1} and {$spouse2} considered themselves as a married couple?

Answer “Yes” or “No.” Answer:


Did {$spouse1} and {$spouse2} indicate to you that they were married?

Answer “Yes” or ”No” Answer:

Signed this ______ day of _______________

Affiant __________________

Texas Common Law Marriage Statute:

The only part of the texas family code referring to common law marriage is TEX. FAM. CODE ANN. § 2.401(a)(2) (Vernon 2006) (providing that informal marriage exists if parties (1) agreed to be married, (2) lived together in Texas as husband and wife after such agreement, and (3) represented to others that they were married). Common law marriage is the same as “informal marriage”.

Common Law Marriage License (No such thing, but you can file a informal marriage declaration as in this post)

Divorce For Common Law Marriage? (Yes)

Absolutely in order to end a common law marriage, you have to do a formal divorce proceeding in Texas.  If you do not, and there is any chance that you were married, then you could accumulate assets for years and have your common law spouse come back to divorce you and request 1/2 of the assets at that time.  This would be a very big financial risk. 

Social Security Is Offered In Texas for a Person Who Is Common Law Married.

If You Are Living Together a Very Long Time, Do You Eventually Become Common Law Married? (No)

Unless you meet the requirements which are that you agree to be married, live together and tell others you are married, no matter how long you live together, you will not be considered legally common law married. 

Bigamy Is Just As Illegal In Common Law Marriage As In Traditional Ceremony Marriage.

Texas does not give only partial recognition to the marriage because it is common law– full recognition of the marriage is given, which means that bigamy is just as illegal in common law as in formal marriage. 

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Property rights in Common Law Marriage

You have just as much right to property in your common law marriage as you do in your traditional marriage.  This means, whatever he or she accumulates during the marriage that is not by way of gift or inheritance is just as much yours as it is theirs.  You are entitled to any property gained during your common law marriage. 

Can Alimony Be Ordered After Common Law Marriage in Texas? 

Texas does not have alimony but judges can order spouses to pay support to the other for a time during transition after the divorce.  

Informal Marriage in 2018, Is It Valid? (Yes)

Just as in all previous years, your common law marriage in 2018 is valid, in Texas. 

Informal Marriage in 2017, It is Valid?

Absolutely.  In other words, common law marriage is still recognized today. 

If You Are Seeking To Dissolve Your Common Law Marriage, We Can Handle Your Entire Case For You.

You will need to file a normal divorce case, and you can file it as uncontested if it is, or as contested, if you do not agree.  Here is a link where you can begin your divorce.  Here are the prices.

Get Common Law Marriage Template Packet

common law marriage brief texas

If you are common law married and curious about the types of litigation that can occur, or if you are doing your own common law litigation, it can be extremely helpful to see what other lawyers have recently filed on this topic with the court.

In the packet, you receive a PDF (word version also available for purchase) of the following:

  • Counterpetitioner’s Trial brief on Informal Marriage;
  • Brief in Support of Counter-Motion For Declaratory Judgement–No Common Law Spouse;
  • Plaintiff’s Motion For Partial Summary Judgment As To The Marriage Between ___ And ___;
  • Plaintiff’s First Amended Petition For Declaratory Judgment & Request For Disclosure;
  • Plaintiff’s Original Petition For Declaratory Relief;
  • Defendant Traditional and No-Evidence Motion For Partial Summary Judgment on Informal Marriage.


How To Avoid Common Law Marriage or Informal Marriage in Texas

There is quite a lot that a person has to do in order to ensure that a claim for common law marriage cannot be brought against them.  People trying to prove a valid marriage can sometimes blatantly lie if they stand to win a lot of money.  A person might even lie about whether she or he ever lived with you in the past.  You should be proactive about creating proof that you are not common law married.

  • Send an email to him/her once every six months that verifies again that you are living together but are not married.
  • Do not allow the person to wear a wedding ring.
  • Do not file your taxes as married.
  • Do not have them change their name to yours.
  • Do not let them tell others you are married.
  • Do not agree to be married.
  • Do not allow them to call you a wife or husband.
  • make proof such as on occassion recording a conversation with them where you state that you are not married and not telling others you are married.

Contact a Lawyer Directly That Knows Common Law Marriage in Texas

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Do You Want To Speak With a Lawyer About Ending Your Common Law Marriage?

Call Today: (210) 686-7622