Common Law Marriage in the State of Texas

To have a common law marriage in Texas, these three rules must be met:

  1. Both parties must agree to be married
  2. Both parties must live together as husband and wife
  3. Both parties must present themselves as husband and wife to the public


Is it possible to be legally married to one person and have a common law marriage to another?

No, for a common law marriage to be legal and binding, you must first end one marriage before engaging in another.


Does living together for an extended period of time constitute a common law marriage? 

Only if all three requirements at the top are met as well.


Does having children together mean that we are common law married?

No, unless the three rules are met as well.


What is the deadline to prove that a common law marriage has existed?

There is a two year window after the dissolvent of a common law marriage to prove to a court that it existed. After that is is still possible but more difficult to prove.


How do I prove that a common law marriage existed?

To prove to a court of law that a marriage existed, you can use the following records:

  • Tax Returns
  • Insurance Policies
  • Any written agreements signed as a married couple
  • Any leases or titles
  • A declaration of marriage signed and filed at your local courthouse 


Do I need a divorce if I want to no longer be married even if the marriage is common law?

Yes, in the State of Texas, since common law marriage is recognized, a divorce is necessary.


What is a common law divorce?

It is the same as any other divorce with the same rules. If there are children involved, there will have to be a  custody hearing. To help you, if this is the case, please check out our page over custody Do's and Don'ts.