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Thread: How/What Documentation needed to prove common law marriage

  1. #1
    Mijama is offline Junior Member
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    Question How/What documentation needed to prove common law marriage in Texas

    What is the name of your state? TEXAS

    I have been in a relationship for the past two years and because we live in the state of TEXAS, we are now recognized as common law husband/wife. Well he is now incarcerated and I am only listed on his visit list as a friend until I am able to provide documentation of our union. I am not sure what to do or where to go in Houston to obtain this information. So any information on this would be appreciated....THANKS!!!!
    Last edited by Mijama; 03-27-2005 at 09:43 AM.
  2. #2
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mijama
    What is the name of your state? TEXAS

    I have been in a relationship for the past two years and because we live in the state of TEXAS, we are now recognized as common law husband/wife. Well he is now incarcerated and I am only listed on his visit list as a friend until I am able to provide documentation of our union. I am not sure what to do or where to go in Houston to obtain this information. So any information on this would be appreciated....THANKS!!!!
    What have you done besides living together?
    First of all, are both of you free to marry?
    Have you represented yourselves to be married or intend to marry?
    Have you listed yourselves anywhere as married?
    Do you combine finances?
    Have you filed your income tax as married?
    Are you sure you really want to be married to this person?
  3. #3
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mijama
    What is the name of your state? TEXAS

    I have been in a relationship for the past two years and because we live in the state of TEXAS, we are now recognized as common law husband/wife. Well he is now incarcerated and I am only listed on his visit list as a friend until I am able to provide documentation of our union. I am not sure what to do or where to go in Houston to obtain this information. So any information on this would be appreciated....THANKS!!!!

    My response:

    You aren't married to him. That's because you didn't follow Texas law.

    IAAL
  4. #4
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Details, details
    Texas: A man and woman who want to establish a common-law marriage must sign a form provided by the county clerk. In addition, they must (1) agree to be married, (2) cohabit, and (3) represent to others that they are married.
  5. #5
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mijama
    I have been in a relationship for the past two years and because we live in the state of TEXAS, we are now recognized as common law husband/wife. Well he is now incarcerated and I am only listed on his visit list as a friend until I am able to provide documentation of our union. I am not sure what to do or where to go in Houston to obtain this information. So any information on this would be appreciated.
    You MUST comply with the following from the Texas Family Code:
    2.401. PROOF OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE.
    (a) In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:
    (1) a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this subchapter; or
    (2) the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married.
    (b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.
    (c) A person under 18 years of age may not:
    (1) be a party to an informal marriage; or
    (2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

    2.402. DECLARATION AND REGISTRATION OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE.
    (a) A declaration of informal marriage must be signed on a form prescribed by the bureau of vital statistics and provided by the county clerk. Each party to the declaration shall provide the information required in the form.
    (b) The declaration form must contain:
    (1) a heading entitled "Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage, ___________ County, Texas";
    (2) spaces for each party's full name, including the woman's maiden surname, address, date of birth, place of birth, including city, county, and state, and social security number, if any;
    (3) a space for indicating the type of document tendered by each party as proof of age and identity;
    (4) printed boxes for each party to check "true" or "false" in response to the following statement: "The other party is not related to me as:
    (A) an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;
    (B) a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;
    (C) a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption; or
    (D) a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption.";
    (5) a printed declaration and oath reading: "I SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, ARE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER BY VIRTUE OF THE FOLLOWING FACTS: ON OR ABOUT (DATE) WE AGREED TO BE MARRIED, AND AFTER THAT DATE WE LIVED TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE AND IN THIS STATE WE REPRESENTED TO OTHERS THAT WE WERE MARRIED. SINCE THE DATE OF MARRIAGE TO THE OTHER PARTY I HAVE NOT BEEN MARRIED TO ANY OTHER PERSON. THIS DECLARATION IS TRUE AND THE INFORMATION IN IT WHICH I HAVE GIVEN IS CORRECT.";
    (6) spaces immediately below the printed declaration and oath for the parties' signatures; and
    (7) a certificate of the county clerk that the parties made the declaration and oath and the place and date it was made.


    You can contact the county clerks office and see if they have a form for your use.
  6. #6
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    My response:

    So, what does all of this mean?

    Well, for one thing, you're not going to get any conjugal visits. That means, no nookie, no making the bedsprings creak.

    So, you may as well find yourself another criminal - - preferably, one that's on parole. He's the guy living in the trailer next to yours.

    IAAL
  7. #7
    seniorjudge Guest
    I have been in a relationship for the past two years and because we live in the state of TEXAS, we are now recognized as common law husband/wife.

    Time is not an element in proving common law marriages (see prior posts for the elements).
  8. #8
    AggieBQ is offline Junior Member
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    Burden of Proof of Common Law Marriage in Texas

    I am no legal expert, but after reading this, though an old post, there are TWO main points of discussion that were completely answered incorrectly. First, the burden of proof does NOT have to be through a county clerk or informal marriage certificate. Under Texas Family Code, as I read and will post at the end of my comments, it states one way is through the county clerk declaring you are married (recognized as informal marriage), and the second is proving you are in a common law marriage by way of both declaring as married, live at the same residence AND have a witness/witnesses that agree as witness that you are married. Now, for those wondering on the second point of discussion is the "what if we WERE living together and now we are no longer together or such, incarceration death, etc), previous post stated there are no statute of limitations and its completely false. The statute of limitations to prove your common law marriage is two years. The state assumes a common law marriage did not exist if it is reported or CLAIMED after two years. By claim I mean, lets say the irs. I am attaching via DHHS of Texas their brief description of common law marriage and then actual law under the Texas Family Code (yes some of you attached it but the specifics were not attached and excluded).

    Does Texas Recognize "Common Law" marriage?

    Common-law marriage, also known as "informal marriage" is legal in Texas. A couple may choose whether or not to register their informal marriage. If they do choose to register, both the husband and wife must appear before the County Clerk to file a Declaration of Informal Marriage. The couple must list the date on the declaration from which they have considered themselves married. In other words, a couple can be married for some period of time before registering their informal marriage.

    There are two ways a couple may prove that they are informally married:

    1. They can file a Declaration of Informal Marriage (available from the County Clerk's office)
    -or-
    2. They meet all of the following conditions:
    a. the couple agrees that they are married;
    b . they live together in Texas; and
    c. They represent themselves to other individuals that they are married to one another [Family Code 2.401]

    F[Family Code 2.401]
    UBCHAPTER E. MARRIAGE WITHOUT FORMALITIES

    Sec. 2.401. PROOF OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE. (a) In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:

    (1) a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this subchapter; or

    (2) the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married.

    (b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to be married.

    (c) A person under 18 years of age may not:

    (1) be a party to an informal marriage; or

    (2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

    (d) A person may not be a party to an informal marriage or execute a declaration of an informal marriage if the person is presently married to a person who is not the other party to the informal marriage or declaration of an informal marriage, as applicable.
  9. #9
    TheGeekess is offline Senior Member
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    If the OP hasn't resolved the problem in NINE YEARS, they've got real problems.

    This forum prefers that one does not necropost.
    Zigner and Silverplum like this.
  10. #10
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Furthermore, why bother claiming incorrect advice was given and then post the SAME information that was previously posted?
    Silverplum and Ohiogal like this.
  11. #11
    AggieBQ is offline Junior Member
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    Google the following "prove common law marriage in Texas"

    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    Furthermore, why bother claiming incorrect advice was given and then post the SAME information that was previously posted?
    See the title in this thread - google it. the SAME information was not posted if you bothered reading the law instead of scanning through it...even though most of it was the same a key component was not in the original post - and replies to the post misled me and probably others too.

    Again
    This was first on the list that came up on google. Sure, you can break it down by date, by using wildcards to break down your search results, however, most of us don't bother using advance google searches and just enter what we are searching in the google/search engine bar

    So while yes, the information is almost identical in a previous reply, followups included wrong information , this is why I signed up for this forum, to respond to something I saw clearly incorrect and since I felt my response might be helpful and constructive, I posted. There is no reason to be snide and dismissive in your rants. My input was on the basis of my own troubles of proving a common law marriage - in short, my input has validity, I am in a common law marriage, however, I do not see any reason to go to the courthouse to get a certificate to state our marriage. What I read here was not correct especially in the latter replies to this thread and therefore, I thought my responses would sum up and clear any questions other Texans may have. So why so snide and dismissive? Did we think before we decided to make unintelligent and unthoughtful remarks? Furthermore, the law in Texas changed after the original post that looks the "SAME". . Go look if you feel that you have to prove me wrong... I won't bother inputting it here because I do expect an unintelligent response to my remarks. It won't surprise me.
  12. #12
    quincy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AggieBQ View Post
    So while yes, the information is almost identical in a previous reply ... I felt my response might be helpful and constructive ...
    I'm sorry, AggieBQ. I am afraid you felt wrong.

    If you were to go into the FreeAdvice archives and look at all of the posts from 9 years ago, you would find a lot of information that could use some tweaking. This is often not because what was written was wrong when posted but rather because LAWS CHANGE. What was true 9 years ago, or 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago, may not be true now.

    Instead of rewriting all of the posts from the past, which would be an incredible task and a big waste of time, FreeAdvice assumes that people who are doing research are bright enough to take into account the dates the material was written.

    If you have a legal question or concern of your own, about your common-law marriage in Texas or whatever, please start your own thread. The forum members here will be happy to help you with your current legal questions and concerns (unless, of course, you continue to call the volunteers here "snide," "dismissive," "unthoughtful," and "unintelligent" ... comments like that do not endear you to those with the knowledge to help you).

    Thank you in advance for understanding how this forum operates.

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