Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

If a man had been living with a women for over 10 years and her name is listed on his house and 401k but marries another women who is entitle to the money?

Asked on 6/25/13, 8:14 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

C. Michael Ireland Ireland & Shum, PLLC
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Texas recognizes common law marriage. In order for there to be a common law marriage, the couple must agree to be married, cohabitate, and hold themselves out as a married couple. These are all factors for a court to consider and require evidence of such. Absent a finding of the existence of a common law marriage, if you are listed on the Deed as an owner of the house it's possible you have a claim against the house. However, it is unlikely you would have any claim to any retirement plans if you were simply listed as a beneficiary if there is no common law marriage. It would be in your best interest to seek out a local attorney and discuss the issues with him/her. They would better be able to assist you after learning of the facts of your case.

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6/25/13, 8:51 am
Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator
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They don't need to be married. You are not giving enough information to answer the questions.

She can own part of the house. For example, 2 men can own a home together as investors.

He can also list anyone he wants on his 401(k).

You don't understand the laws of the State of Texas. If there is a will, the will controls. Therefore, he could leave his wife with nothing.

Without a will, the wife only inherits what he owns. So if he only owns 1/2 of a house then she could only inherit the maximum of 1/2 of the house. Also, without a will, the State of Texas has determined how his assets will be distributed. If he has children and other heirs, then his wife might not inherit all of his estate.

In summary, it is impossible to answer your question without talking to you in person and getting a lot more information.

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6/26/13, 10:17 am

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