If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you may be wondering whether or not you have rights or even are you legally married? Most people when they get married, know they got married. They had a big ceremony and their friends all came and it was a big party. But in the state of Texas, it is possible to get married without having a ceremony. And we call this common law marriage.
There’s no form that’s required to be filed. There’s nothing official that happened. But in order to be considered common law, you have to meet these three requirements.
- First, you have to have agreed to be married.
- Second, you must have lived together after you agreed to be married.
- Third, you have to have held yourselves out as a married couple.
What does it mean to say you agreed to be married? This issue gets litigated a lot, and it can really be expensive. So if you’re not sure whether or not you’ve ever agreed to be married, then we are going to look at facts:
- Did you tell anybody you were married?
- Did you indicate that you had a spouse on an insurance form?
- How have you been filing taxes? If you have been filing as single, but are in fact married, that can really create a lot of problems.
And of course, there’s the living together. It is usually pretty easy to prove whether or not you live together. But these issues can be really sticky. And if you want to avoid common-law marriage, then I suggest that you should have a cohabitation agreement that spells out the fact that you are not married before you live together.
So if you have any questions about whether or not you’re married, we would be happy to talk with you. Feel free to contact Hargrave Family Law to schedule a time to discuss the specific facts of your case with you. Of course, all our videos are not intended to be legal advice but to provide you with information that can helpfully shed light on your situation. Reach out, and we will love to talk with you.