Texas Common Law Marriage

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enlighten me

Dallas, TX

#1 May 30, 2008
Common Law Marriage in Texas has been an issue of debate where I work. I've researched it on the web and have found conflicting answers. Everyone I've talked to about it have different views and answers. Policemen and sheriff's deputies have stated that it is recognized but the criteria they use is different than that which some health insurance companies base eligibility of coverage upon. I've been told that if a couple lives together, both receive mail at the residence, file taxes together, etc then they are considered common law.

So my question is does Texas recognize common law marriage? If so, on what basis? Have any of you dealt with this before or know of someone who has?
Indeed

Houston, TX

#2 May 30, 2008
enlighten me wrote:
Common Law Marriage in Texas has been an issue of debate where I work. I've researched it on the web and have found conflicting answers. Everyone I've talked to about it have different views and answers. Policemen and sheriff's deputies have stated that it is recognized but the criteria they use is different than that which some health insurance companies base eligibility of coverage upon. I've been told that if a couple lives together, both receive mail at the residence, file taxes together, etc then they are considered common law.
So my question is does Texas recognize common law marriage? If so, on what basis? Have any of you dealt with this before or know of someone who has?
Okay, if I remember correctly, I believe there is a 3-point test for determining CL marriage: the parties must have agreed to be married, they must hold themselves out to others as married, and they must live together--there is no time requirment in TX. These three elements must be proven to show a CL marriage exists.

While there is no time requirement on the cohabitation, I believe there is a presumption that, if after two years of being together, the couple has not sought to declare themselves informally (CL) married, then they are not, regardless of the 3-point test. I think.

Hope this helps.
enlighten me

Dallas, TX

#3 May 30, 2008
Thank you! I had read about the 3-point test yet one stated that you must have already been married in Texas at one time and then of course divorced.

So if the couple never states publically that they are CL yet have lived together for months or even a couple of years, they wouldn't be CL?
Indeed

Houston, TX

#4 May 30, 2008
enlighten me wrote:
Thank you! I had read about the 3-point test yet one stated that you must have already been married in Texas at one time and then of course divorced.
So if the couple never states publically that they are CL yet have lived together for months or even a couple of years, they wouldn't be CL?
I believe that's correct. Holding themseleves out publicly as married is one of the requirements they have to prove when claiming CL marriage.
enlighten me

Dallas, TX

#5 May 30, 2008
Our health insurance provider told a co-worker that in order for her significant other to be eligible for coverage under our health policy, she obtain an 'affidavit of common law marriage' from the JP. Would that not be getting married though?
Indeed

Houston, TX

#6 May 30, 2008
I believe in order to obtain the affidavit she only has to prove those three things. But I am certainly no expert in this area. I would assume the affidavit is, in effect, a declaration of marriage, so yes, I think that would be enough. But again, that's just my guess. I suggest, if she doesn't want to pay a lawyer, that she call the JP's clerk and just say, "I'm interested in obtaining an affidavit of common law marriage. What do I need to to?" They should be able to guide her.

Good luck!
Exhausted

Henderson, TX

#7 May 31, 2008
When I worked back at Trane I had to get a document down at the courthouse just like a marriage certificate stating we reconized ourselves as huband and wife on this date so I could get him covered on insurance.So we also have to file divorce papes if we decide to split.
enlighten me

Dallas, TX

#8 Jun 2, 2008
Exhausted wrote:
When I worked back at Trane I had to get a document down at the courthouse just like a marriage certificate stating we reconized ourselves as huband and wife on this date so I could get him covered on insurance.So we also have to file divorce papes if we decide to split.
That is what our insurance provider is requesting be done. However, the employee wanting the coverage on her live-in boyfriend says she'd then feel as if she's married so she might as well get married! It's crazy! Thanks for the info!!
yes

San Antonio, TX

#9 Jun 3, 2008
just marry the *itch. sounds like you want your cake and to eat it too. Hmmmm cake better yet ding dongs
Lurker

Waterloo, IA

#10 Jun 5, 2008
Official common-law marriage does require paperwork. And the couple DOES have to go through divorce proceedings in order to have the CL marriage revoked.

I had a friend who went through the process because she wanted her fiance to be on her health insurance, but they were already in the process of planning their wedding, so it wasn't a big deal for them. They just had one less piece of paper to sign they day of their wedding, since they were already officially married with the CL filing.

The reason why just living together isn't considered CL, is because there are a lot of roommate situations out there. Although, roommates don't typically file their taxes together.

Anyway, to answer your question, the only way CL can be recognized is filing it as such. And my friend didn't have to prove anything in the way of how long she and her fiance had been living together before filling out the form. They basically just went down the courthouse, asked for the paperwork, filled it out, and were married from then on.
Inquiring in Dallas

Irving, TX

#11 Dec 1, 2009
Me and my boyfriend have lived with each other for a year and half. We share bank account,cell phone account,car payment ect.
My question is can we get heathplan coverage for both of us and children.We had kids before from previous.
Just Sayin

Henderson, TX

#12 Dec 1, 2009
Inquiring in Dallas wrote:
Me and my boyfriend have lived with each other for a year and half. We share bank account,cell phone account,car payment ect.
My question is can we get heathplan coverage for both of us and children.We had kids before from previous.
Are you serious? You are "sharing" everything but you are allowing your children to see the example you are setting. You are really giving them a life to imitate. And you're worried about INSURANCE? What wonderful, thoughtful parents you are!
HENDERSONITE

AOL

#13 Dec 2, 2009
i asked a lawyer here in henderson.....how can i live with my bf and it never become commom law married?
he said.... never tell anyone...ya'll are married....... never have joint accounts...anywhere.... don't have kids together.. then u can live with someone and not be common law after 6 months or how ever long it is
HFN

Henderson, TX

#14 Dec 4, 2009
enlighten me wrote:
Our health insurance provider told a co-worker that in order for her significant other to be eligible for coverage under our health policy, she obtain an 'affidavit of common law marriage' from the JP. Would that not be getting married though?
There is no CL marriage in Texas. Marriage was redefined in an Amendment election. Either Formal or Informal and has to be applied at the Clerks office at the County Court house.
dunno

Henderson, TX

#15 Dec 5, 2009
HENDERSONITE wrote:
i asked a lawyer here in henderson.....how can i live with my bf and it never become commom law married?
he said.... never tell anyone...ya'll are married....... never have joint accounts...anywhere.... don't have kids together.. then u can live with someone and not be common law after 6 months or how ever long it is
Ball$hit
do yar Cuzin

United States

#16 Dec 5, 2009
Is common law marriage the "work around" to marrying your cousin?
just curious

Shreveport, LA

#18 Feb 5, 2010
when you have a ceremonial marriage, it is public knowledge to the public. but, does common law marriage show to be bublic knowledge if someone was to ask for verification on a couple who states they are common law married. Just curious.....
Bothering me

Santa Fe, TX

#19 May 24, 2010
i might sound pretty ignorant but please be patient with me. my husband and i are married and legally married by the courthhouse. his "babymama" says they are commonlaw marriage and my husband will now be in big trouble. they were together for four years but never filed taxes together, never shared accounts, never did anything together. everything was seperated. altho she did put in his last name when she went to the emergency room...but he was not aware of it. she says no matter what, even if my husband didnt want to marry her, he is stilll commonlaw married, whether he wanted it or not. is this true?
Yep

Lindale, TX

#20 May 25, 2010
I am "common law" married. You go to the County Clerk's office, fill out the affidavit, raise your right hand & swear to the truth, and BAM you are married. It is a recognized marriage. You do have to get divorced to dissolve the marriage. You cannot marry anyone else. You can use the certificate to change your name on your DL and Social Security card. You are NOT common law married unless you have the certificate of common law marriage regardless of how long you lived together, joint accounts, babies, etc.
Nope

Llano, TX

#21 Oct 28, 2010
You do NOT have to go to any court house, raise said hand or swear to the truth. All you need, by Texas law is to meet the three point criteria for CL marriage. 1. Mutually agree that you're married 2. You must reside together as husband and wife and 3. You must hold each other out (acknowledge person as your husband/wife) as being married in front of others.
Although you can file what is called a Declaration of Marraige form at the courthouse- and this is probably what will make getting a new DL and SS Card much easier. It isn't required though in order to be legally married in Texas.

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