Basic Requirements for Common Law Marriages in Texas
Texas recognizes a type of marriage known as “common law” marriage. What are the elements required to establish a common law marriage?
You only need three (3) things:
• You must have lived together in the State of Texas
• You must intend to be presently married to one another (and not just to be engaged, or married at some time in the future)
• You must “hold yourselves out” to be husband and wife.
There is no minimum time that you have to actually live together. Some examples of “holding yourselves out” as husband and wife include introducing yourselves as husband and wife, the wife using the husband’s last name, filing income taxes together, and including the other person as a dependent on health insurance. Other examples include listing the other person as a spouse on life insurance policies and listing the other person as a spouse in a gym membership.
Living together and having children together is not enough, by itself, to create a common law marriage.