There are some couples who, while not wanting a marriage license or a wedding ceremony, would still like to have some kind of recognition of their dedication to one another. One way an unmarried couple can do this is by enacting what is referred to as a "common law marriage."
The qualifications for a common law marriage in the state of Texas are remarkably simple. They are as follows:
- The couple must inform others of their marriage.
- The couple must be in agreement that they are married.
- The couple must live as husband and wife in Texas.
A couple's common law marriage can be formalized if they file a Declaration of Marriage. This can be done by filing a signed Declaration of Marriage form with their county's County Clerk.
But what is important to remember about common law marriages is that once they have been proven as existing, they are as legally valid as traditional ceremonial marriages. This means that should you want to permanently separate yourself from your common law spouse, you will want to get a divorce.
In order to get a common law divorce, it must be proven to the court that the marriage exists. This proof is provided by the first person to file the papers. In every other regard, this kind of divorce is no different from other divorces.
Divorcing spouses generally have reason to consider taking on legal representation to help guide them through the process. In some cases, a common law spouse may even have added legal issues based on the need to qualify the existence of the marriage.
If you are planning to get a divorce from your common law spouse in Texas, a divorce attorney could help you by offering advice and helping to protect your interests.