An Ally In All Your Family Law Matters

Did I Accidentally Get Common Law Married?

by | May 15, 2024 | Family Law

The answer is probably no. Living with your partner for a number of years, on its own, is not enough to get the common law wedding bells ringing – at least not in Texas. However, it is a very *common* misconception that living together for a certain number of years on its own can be enough to consider you common law married.

Why would you or wouldn’t you want to be in a common law marriage? It all comes down to asset and debt division. If you are considered married, community property will need to be divided between the couple. If you are not considered married, there is no community property.

In Texas, under Texas Family Code 2.401, to have a legally valid common law marriage, you must meet the following three requirements:

  1. You and your partner agreed to be married;
  2. After agreeing to be married, you both lived together in Texas; and
  3. You represented to others that you were a married couple.

You must also meet the Texas criteria to enter into a legal marriage, such as being 18 years or older, not being married to anyone else, and not being related to each other.

If you are reading this post and are just now finding out that you are in fact common law married, I hope it’s a welcomed surprise. If you want to make it official, you can file a Declaration of Marriage form and file it with the clerk of court in your county. After this, you’ll hear the common law wedding bells ringing, as you may now get your marriage license!