Does Texas Recognize Common Law Marriages?
The term 'common law marriage' itself is fairly common, but there are only a few states that actually legally recognize it.
What is common law marriage?
To put it simply, it’s a union where two consenting adults become a couple without going through the process of obtaining a marriage license or having a formal marriage ceremony. [Lyttle Law Firm]
Does Texas recognize common law marriages?
Even though the term 'common law marriage' is fairly common, only a few states legally recognize it and Texas is one of them.
However, just living together doesn't make you husband and wife. Texas law dictates that a common-law marriage may be proved, in a nutshell, by the following factors:
- The couple agrees to be married.
- Following the agreement to be married, the couple then agrees to live together as husband and wife (or husband and husband, wife and wife, etc).
- While the statute hasn't been updated to reflect same-sex marriages, same-sex couples can, indeed, enter into an informal marriage, otherwise known as a common-law marriage.
- Finally, the couple has represented themselves to others as married.
How many states allow common-law marriages?
The most recent data shows that only 8 states permit common-law marriages, and they are:
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina
So, in essence, while Texas may be behind in education and marijuana reformation laws, we are definitely progressive enough to allow common-law marriages.
What are some of the benefits of common law marriage in Texas?
- Legal recognition of your marriage
- Eligible to receive insurance benefits through spouse's plan at work
- A widowed spouse is eligible to inherit assets without paying estate taxes
- Hospital visitation rights
- Rights to property and assets
If you have further questions about common-law marriages in the state of Texas, please consult your attorney or just Google it as I did.