Brownsville Texas Divorce Lawyers

Currently co-habitation, like divorce, is extremely common. According to a Pew Research Center Study, the number of co-habitating couples is on the rise, especially for couples over the age of 50. So does co-habitation mean that you are married?

Elements Of Common Law Marriage

In Texas, you don’t need a marriage license to be formally or legally recognized as married; however, mere cohabitation is not enough. Common law marriage, also known as “informal marriage” in Texas, requires that you to prove three elements:

  1. The couple agreed to be married.
  2. They live together.
  3. They represent to others that they are married.

Further Evidence of Common Law Marriage

Moving in together, getting pregnant, and having family events to celebrate birthdays and important life events can be evidence of a common law marriage. In addition to that, filing your taxes jointly, co-signing on a loan for a mortgage, or referring to each other as a life partner can also start to look like an informal marriage.

Declaration of Informal Marriage

If you want to recognize this intention to be married, you can file what is called a “Declaration of Informal Marriage.” Some people file this as a way to receive benefits from their partner like health insurance or social security. Even though this document is not a marriage license, it does create a legal presumption of the couple’s intention to be married.

On the other hand, if you think you’ve gotten in too deep and want to jump ship, you may find yourself needing to get a divorce even though you never obtained a marriage license or walked down the aisle to publicly declare your union of love.

If you are unsure if your current cohabitation arrangements could be considered an informal marriage, your best choice is to seek the services of an experienced divorce lawyer who can help determine your legal marital status.

Garza & Elizondo, LLP

Downtown Brownsville
Principal Office
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
(956) 202-0067

North Brownsville
Meetings With Attorney By Appointment Only
1393 East Alton Gloor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526
(956) 202-0067

San Benito
Meetings With Attorney By Appointment Only
2395 La Palma Street, Suite A
San Benito TX 78586
(956) 202-0067