• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Common Law Marriage

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? TX
I had a child three years ago with my boyfriend. We are no longer together. I own my own home. Barely making ends meet I offered him a room for rent in my house. He moved in. One night he asked to borrow my car for quick run to the convenience store & didn't return with it. I called the police to report a stolen vehicle & they said they could do nothing. The fact that we had a child together and live together we are considered common law. Therefore everything that is his is mine & everything that is mine is he is. Basically, he had right to take it as it was common property.
He is the father of my child. We have our occasional discretionaries but we have not been in a relationship since the birth of our child. We are not living together as a couple. He is a rentor and signed a legal rental agreement to rent a room in my house.

What constitutes someone being common law?
Does the fact that we have occassionally slept together and have a child make us common law?


Senior Member
Unless you are both holding yourselves to others as a "married" couple, file joint tax returns, take out loans as a married couple, have benefits as a married couple, then no, you are NOT "common law" married.

might suggest having a different roommate.


Senior Member
from Common Law Marriage, Travis County, Texas

Q: What makes a common law marriage?
A: Three elements must be present to form a common law marriage in Texas.

First, you must have "agreed to be married."

Second, you must have "held yourselves out" as husband and wife. You must have represented to others that you were married to each other. As an example of this, you may have introduced you partner socially as "my husband," or you may have filed a joint income tax return.

Third, you must have lived together in this state as husband and wife.
If you have not agreed to be married, then you are not married and the police are derelict in their duties. I suspect they simply do not wish to become involved in a domestic dispute.

Has the car been returned? If so, I would suggest never allowing this again. If you do and he does not reutrn it within your time frame demands, the courts may see it as, " he did this before and you expected him to act differently why?" and do nothing. The courts are not thrilled about getting involved in situations that you cause and knew about beforehand.

If it hasn;t been returned, call the police again. Explain to them you are not married and not in a relationship other than llandlord tenant. If they fail to take action, speak to the post commander. If nothing still, call the prosecutors office and seek to file a complaint against the thief. I am not so sure I would be too harsh on the police considering the circumstances although they are not acting within what they should be doing.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential