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Common-Law Marriage in Texas: Exploring its Implications in Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Wylie, TX divorce attorneyCommon-law marriage is a unique legal concept that allows individuals in Texas to establish a legally recognized marital relationship without a formal ceremony or marriage license. In the context of divorce, it is important to realize how this legally recognized form of informal marriage can, like traditional marriages, still end in formal divorce. We will aim to shed light on what common-law marriage means in Texas divorce cases, addressing its requirements, potential benefits, challenges, and the legal process involved. If you are in a common-law marriage and looking to get a divorce, contact a divorce attorney to begin the process of legally dissolving your common-law marriage. 

Defining Common-Law Marriage in the Context of Divorce

In Texas, a common -law marriage is treated just like a ceremonial marriage when it comes to divorce proceedings. When two individuals meet the requirements for entering into a common law marriage, they have the same rights and responsibilities as traditional spouses and, therefore, must go through the divorce process to dissolve their marriage.

Requirements and Evidence for Common-Law Marriage 

To be recognized as common-law spouses, couples must satisfy three key elements:

  • An agreement to be married

  • Living together as husband and wife

  • Representing themselves as spouses to others

It is crucial to provide evidence supporting these elements, such as joint bank accounts, shared property, joint tax filings, and testimonies from friends or family who witnessed the couple holding themselves out as married.

Division of Property and Debts

In a common -law marriage divorce, the division of property and debts is governed by the same community property principles as traditional marriages. Texas is a community property state, meaning that marital property is subject to division in a just and right manner upon dissolution of the marriage. The court will consider various factors, including the nature and value of assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage when determining a fair and equitable division of property and debts. 

Child Custody and Support

When children are involved in a common-law marriage divorce, the court follows the same guidelines as those in traditional marriages. The child’s best interests standard is used to make decisions regarding child custody, visitation, and support. Like in a traditional divorce involving kids, the court will consider factors like the emotional and physical needs of the child, the parent’s ability to provide what the child needs, and the child’s relationship with each parent in determining custody arrangements.

Contact a Wylie Divorce Lawyer

In your common-law marriage divorce, contact the esteemed Collin County divorce attorney with Law Office of Brian Bagley. Call 972-422-2424 for a free consultation.  

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