Raggio Family Law Articles
Common Law Marriage
Texas is one of the very few states that recognizes a common law marriage, or more precisely, a marriage without formalities. Even though the Statutory framework for such a marriage appears to be quite simple and straightfoward: either properly file a proper Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage; or prove in Court that a man and a woman 1) agreed to be married, 2) after that agreement lived together in Texas as husband and wife, and 3) represented to others that they were married. In reality, proof of a common law marriage (or the denial of a common law marriage) is very tricky, fact-intensive, and is NOT something a lay person should even think about without adequate legal representation. By the way, "if you snooze you lose," as there is a statutory time limit for instituting the lawsuit to prove the alleged common law marriage. There are instances in which an alleged common law mariage from another state is going to be determined in Texas, and vice versa. Then concept like choice of law, conlficts of law can come into play.
Don't be a putz; if there is any question about the existence or nonexistence of a common law marriage, consult with an expert family law attorney in Texas to find out!!!