Does anyone know anything about common law marriage?

I have done a lot of research on common law marriage, and I have one big question that I cannot seem to find an answer to. If I obtain a common law marriage now, can my husband and I decide to have a ceremony later on and obtain a marriage certificate? We live in Texas.

Thanks in advance.


Most Helpful Guy

  • Common-Law marriage refers often to one that is not a legal marriage but has all the benefits of one. In some places if you live common-law for a period of time that may differ from one place to another, you may be regarded as a married couple. Check it out for Texas since the rules there may not apply elsewhere. Typically it can be regarded as "common-law" on or some recent time after you begin living together as a couple. My wife and I did that for two years and then had an actual wedding.

    "Texas calls it an "informal marriage," rather than a common-law marriage. "

    "an informal marriage can be established either by declaration (registering at the county courthouse without having a ceremony), or by meeting a three-prong test showing evidence of (1) an agreement to be married; (2) cohabitation in Texas; and (3) representation to others that the parties are married. "

    But you can Google just as well as I can. Information is there and unless there's a lawyer reading this, that information (especially on a government website) may be more reliable.

    So for us while we technically lived comon law for a few years and were recognized by people as a couple and did joint income tax returns etc etc I personally simply used the label of "engaged" until we were officially married.

    • You can actually become officially common law married where you file paperwork at the courthouse. That is our intentions. I've done lots of googling, and I can't find anything regarding transitioning from an informal marriage to a formal marriage. Just wondering if anyone here might have some info.

    • What I mean is that in some places if you live common law for a period of time which probably changes depending on where you are, the government will regard you as "married" with or without a ceremony, license, certificate etc. In that case formalizing it with a ceremony would be optional. Yet for me it was important even though the only people invited were the maid of honour and my best man (who was a woman). You might be best asking someone who really knows like a justice of the peace etc.

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  • Yes common law just means ya live togeather and have a marriage just with out it being "offical"

    • That's actually not what common law is. People think you're common law married if you live together for awhile but that's not exactly how it works.

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