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Common Law Marriage Lawyers in San Antonio


Common law marriage can be defined as a marriage that exists without a civil or religious ceremony and done by mutual agreement between 2 individuals. Common law marriage also exists through the practice of cohabitation. While many couples believe that just the act of living together for a certain number of years will qualify the relationship as common law marriage, that is not true in the state of Texas.

To qualify as a common law marriage under Texas law, it is necessary to meet the following three elements:

  1. The couple must have agreed to be married;
  2. They must hold themselves out as spouses; and
  3. They must have lived together in the state of Texas.

If your marriage meets these elements, you can have your relationship legally recognized by filing the proper forms with the state. If you need to go to court to prove your common law marriage, you will need to prove that the three elements noted above are present as shown by definitive evidence. You can present documents such as leases, tax forms, or insurance policies that were signed by both spouses. You can testify and you will also be allowed to call witnesses to the stand to testify on your behalf. A San Antonio common law marriage lawyer from Zinda Law Group can help you get your common law marriage legally recognized.

Once your marriage has been legally recognized, it is important to be aware that Texas officials can conduct unannounced interviews and investigations of couples that have filed for common law marriage. This process is intended to reduce any possibility of fraud.

Ending a Common Law Marriage

If you would like to end your common law marriage, there are two ways to dissolve it:

  • Formal divorce – this form of divorce is advised, especially if there are children, property, and debts to divide. In the divorce process, the court will adjudicate any questions of paternity, custody, support, and visitation in relation to the children in addition to determining the division of the debts and community property.
  • Dissolution – under this new provision of the Texas Family Code, either partner can dissolve their marriage within two years of ending the relationship. To qualify for dissolution, it is necessary to prove that the marriage existed under the three elements as stated above, and the relationship must have ended after September 1, 1989.

Contact our San Antonio Common Law Marriage Lawyers Today

Not all states recognize the common law marriage laws of Texas, so if you are planning a move to another state it is advisable to seek the advice of a knowledgeable common law marriage attorney to ascertain your marital rights and duties under the other state’s laws. If you and your partner have been living in a common law marriage and want your relationship to be legally recognized by the state, there are steps you must take. To formally declare your common law marriage, you must file a Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage form that is available at your local county clerk’s office.

If you need assistance getting your common law marriage legally recognized or ended, contact the experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group of San Antonio for help. To get started with a consultation, call 210-390-0742 today.