Texas Common Law Marriage: Can You Divorce?

Read our blog to learn more about marriage and divorce laws in Texas.

Did you know that Texas is one of a few states in the country that recognizes common law marriages?

Common law marriage occurs when two people are married without a formal ceremony. In Texas, you can establish that you are in a common law marriage by stating that you are married publicly, if you live together with another person as husband and wife.

Examples of this can occur when people who live together affirm that they are married in public, while doing things like purchasing property or having kids. Additionally, in some cases, people in common law marriages choose to file taxes jointly. Common law marriages can be beneficial when people are seeking out the same benefits and financial opportunities offered to people who are in standard marriages. However, there may also be drawbacks, which we will discuss later.

If you wish to validate your marriage with the state, you will need to visit your local county clerk’s office, where you can obtain a marriage certificate. You do not have to do this to be considered married, but it can be helpful, as a marriage certificate is valid proof of your union.

Additionally, you should know that Texas recognizes the validity of relationships from other states (time spent together, statements made about marriage) when determining common law marriages for new residents.

Rapper Fights Common Law Marriage Claim

We bring this subject up because recently rapper Iggy Azalea began fighting claims that she is in a common law marriage with a Houston man. The man told KTRK-TV that the pair publicly stated they were married in 2008, when Azalea arrived in the U.S. from Australia.

Azalea, who is engaged to NBA player Nick Young, has denied the marriage claims in court proceedings. The man, who KTRK reported has a criminal history, is seeking a divorce. In his case, he is asking that a court prohibit Azalea from selling any assets accumulated over the course of their marriage.

TMZ pointed out that this could include the rights to music she wrote, which could be worth millions of dollars.

Divorce and Common Law Marriage Law

If you are in a toxic relationship, you may need to speak to an attorney about a formal divorce. As this case shows, if you have ended a relationship and you have assets, a former partner may be able to claim that you were in a common law marriage in order to seek out property ownership.

Divorces involving common law marriage claims can be incredibly complex. This is especially true if you have valuable assets. If you have been served divorce paperwork, speak to our family lawyers about your legal rights.

In some cases, you may be caught off guard by a divorce claim, especially if you never felt as though you were married. To deal with this, you will need legal guidance.