A common law marriage is one where the spouses are found to be married even though there was no formal wedding. Texas is one of many states that recognize common law marriage.
Determining if you are in an informal marriage or not is very important. If you are in informal marriage, you have the same rights and obligations a formal marriage affords.
This means the legal classifications of property exist, as do the legal obligations regarding community debt and spousal support. If you are in informal marriage, it means that you are married, and, you simply cannot walk away from the relationship without a divorce. There is no common law divorce in Texas.
What is the Exception of Proving Common Law Marriage Existed in My Relationship?
There is one exception, however, to prove that a common-law marriage existed. If the partners or spouses separate, and live apart, for two years, and, during those two years, neither party brings suit to prove that a common-law marriage exists, it is presumed that a common-law marriage did not exist. This presumption, however, is rebuttable, which means the person attempting to prove a marriage existed must present evidence to overcome that presumption. This means that there would need to be strong evidence that the spouses were living together as a married couple.
Do I Need An Attorney to Address My Common Law Marriage Dissolution?
If you believe you are in a common-law marriage, and your partner has decided to leave the relationship, it is in your best interest to contact a Texas attorney in order to determine if you have common law marriage rights to the assets of the relationship. If you are common-law married, you have rights to community property and possibly spousal support. If there are children of the relationship, your child deserves to be protected and cared for, through the institution of a child custody order, a child visitation schedule, and a child support program.
Just because you were not formally married does not mean that you are without rights. The lawyers at Stepp and Sullivan can assist you in determining your legal rights, and in protecting your children’s rights.
Contact Our Houston Family Law Attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan For a Consultation
If we can answer any questions you have, or if you need additional information, we are here for you. We work one-on-one with our clients to focus on the outcomes that are most important to you. At Stepp & Sullivan, we make it Personal. Powerful.