Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

Common Law Marriage in Texas

Please inform me of my legal rights under Texas law as a common law wife, Re: divorce, child custody (I am not the natural mother and have not adopted), visiting rights, property settlement.

How is 'Common Law Marriage' defined?

Asked on 8/28/99, 4:05 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jimmy L. Verner Jr. Verner & Brumley, P.C.

Re: Common Law Marriage in Texas

You may or may not be common law married. A common-law marriage in Texas requires an agreement to be married, cohabitation in Texas and representing to others that you are married. Also, there is sort of a statute of limitations to prove a common-law marriage after it breaks up - two years, with an exception. If you are common-law married, then you have exactly the same rights as a person who is formally married. In the case of a stepdaughter who was not adopted by you, you have no rights as a parent at all except as may be granted by other provisions of the Family Code.

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Answered on 8/30/99, 3:16 pm

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