Contrary to popular belief, common law marriage has nothing to do with how long a couple has been together or has been living together. There are three elements that have to be proven in order to sustain a common law marriage claim: 1) that you and your partner agreed to be married; 2) that you lived together in the state of Texas and 3) that you held yourselves out to others as being married. This generally means that you told other people that you were spouses and agreed together that you are married (not thinking about getting married or will get married someday). If someone successfully convinces the court that a common law/informal marriage exists, then the court will treat the couple as married and apply all the same laws as a divorce between formally married couples.

If you have filed an Informal Marriage Certificate with your spouse, then the court will treat you as a formally married couple for the purposes of divorce.

Our team has experience on both sides of the common law marriage claim—advocating for the existence of the marriage and defending against the marriage claim.