If the party with most of the property can prevent the existence of a common-law marriage being proven, then the alleged spouse has no rights to their property. One of the biggest ways a common-law marriage is different than a ceremonial marriage is if it is contested the spouse alleging a marriage will need to put on proof. If the marriage is contested it may be necessary to have a mini trial or evidentiary hearing on the existence of the marriage.
If the Jury or Judge finds in favor of a marriage then the divorce process will proceed as normal. Some evidence of a common-law marriage could include:.
Ending a Common Law Marriage
To prove the existence of a marriage that purportedly occurred in another state or foreign country, the party alleging a marriage will need to perform a foreign-marriage analysis. This is done by answering a series of questions aimed at determine whether Texas Law or the law of the foreign state or country applies and whether under that law, the requirements for proving up a marriage have been met.
If a Texas court refuses to recognize a foreign marriage because it violates Texas public policy the parties to the foreign marriage can return to the state or country where the marriage took place and seek a divorce, there.
Under the full faith and credit clause, each state must give full faith and credit to the judicial proceedings, public acts, and records of other states. Some Texas courts have held that because marriage is not a judicial judgment and is more like a contract or license, a marriage in one state has never been considered constitutionally entitled to automatic recognition in other states.
If you have questions regarding divorce , it's important to speak with one of our Houston , TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Does Texas Recognize Common Law Marriages?
Our d ivorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Putting Our Clients First Every Time We believe in helping our clients transition through family law cases, as smoothly as possible. November 13, In Texas, many people are aware that Texas recognizes common-law marriage. Living Together The next element need to establish a common-law marriage , is that the parties must have lived together in Texas as husband and wife. Holding Out The final element needed to establish a common-law marriage is that parties must have told other people in Texas that they were married.
This can be accomplished either by: Spoken words or Actions and conduct by each person may be enough to fulfill the requirement of holding out. In other words there can be no secret common-law marriage. Legal Effect of a Common-Law Marriage If a c ommon-law marriage exists it has the same legal significance as a ceremonial marriage. Professional legal counsel is highly recommended. It does not matter how many years a couple has lived together or whether or not they have children together.
If they did not represent themselves to the public as a married couple, the fourth element is not met. Courts will accept any of the following evidence as proof the couple held themselves out to be married:. The form must include. After that date, the court presumes there was no marriage. Although the presumption can be rebutted, it is much more difficult to do so after the two-year time limit has expired.
Call now to schedule an appointment with the Law Offices of Frank E. Mann P. Consultations are free, and our legal team will do everything in their power to achieve your desired outcome in family court. Common Law Marriage Divorce in Texas. Evidence Required to Prove a Couple Presented Themselves as a Married Couple It does not matter how many years a couple has lived together or whether or not they have children together.
Courts will accept any of the following evidence as proof the couple held themselves out to be married: A rental agreement signed by both parties referring to them as husband and wife. Tax returns, state or federal, that are filed jointly as husband and wife. Any insurance policy that names one of the parties as the beneficiary spouse. You cannot have a secret common law marriage. That form has all the same power of a marriage license.
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If you have filed a Declaration of Informal Marriage then it is difficult although not impossible to dispute the existence of a common law marriage, much like a marriage license produced through a formal marriage. This is normally done by trial in a divorce proceeding for the common law marriage. In many cases the parties to a common law marriage who split up never obtain a divorce, they simply go their separate ways and act like the marriage never really existed.
As a practical matter, this can work just fine for the spouses much like other married individuals who separated from their spouses but never obtain a divorce. Like a divorce in a formal marriage, a divorce in a common law marriage allows the family court to divide marital property, assign rights and obligations on any children of the marriage and terminate community property rights in the future property acquired by either of the spouses.
5 Interesting Facts About Common Law Marriage in Texas - Connatser Family Law
Any of these might be a reason to obtain a common law marriage. You can deal with child issues in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship outside of a divorce but it is common to deal with the child and property issues collectively in a divorce. You may want to protect the assets you have now or into the future from your common law spouse.
This is particularly useful if you see yourself moving into a higher income bracket where your earnings continue to be community property. Alternatively, your common law spouse may be financially better off after you separated and you want to use a divorce to exercise your community property rights under the Texas Family Code.
The most common reason why you want to deny the existence of a common law marriage and that is to avoid allowing your alleged spouse from exercising community property rights over your property in a divorce or probate proceeding. If you defeat the existence of a common law marriage then your alleged spouse has no rights to your property. Unless some other deed, designation, or contract has given that person rights to your property. In less common situations, you may need to dispute the existence of a common law marriage that allegedly preceded a current marriage to avoid allegations of bigamy or voiding a current marriage because you are still married to a prior spouse.
In Texas you may only enter into one marriage at a time and failing to dissolve a prior marriage can subject you to criminal punishment for bigamy and void your current marriage.