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Austin Common Law Marriage Attorney

A common law marriage is an alternative to a formal, traditional marriage, but it is no less binding in the eyes of the law. Many Americans are opting for alternatives to typical marriage, such as cohabitation and common law marriage, and it’s vital for spouses in these situations to know the legal implications of such arrangements. For all legal purposes, a common law marriage holds the same sway in court as a traditional marriage. The process for obtaining a common law marriage is simply more straightforward and less formal.

If you are considering obtaining or dissolving a common law marriage in Texas, contact Austin common law marriage attorney Abraham Kant to help navigate the complexities of the law.

How to Secure a Common Law Marriage in Texas

Obtaining a common law marriage in Texas is as simple as meeting a few legal requirements:

  • The partners in a common law marriage must not be already married.
  • Both partners must be 18 or older.
  • Both partners must agree to be married.
  • The couple must live together in Texas.
  • The couple must represent themselves to others as married. This may sound vague, but the legal system uses several factors to judge this facet of a common law marriage, such as statements from friends, relatives, and coworkers about the couple’s relationship, even the existence of joint bank accounts or shared credit cards.

Why Would I Want a Common Law Marriage?

Some people simply don’t want to deal with the expense of a traditional marriage ceremony. Other couples may wish to skip a typical wedding for religious or personal reasons. In other cases, a couple that has been in a relationship together for a long time may simply wish to add an extra layer of financial security to their situation without all the fuss of a typical marriage. No matter what the reason is behind it, it’s important to remember that a common law marriage is functionally and legally the same as a traditional marriage.

If the spouses in a common law marriage later decide to separate, the process is much the same as any other divorce. Texas state laws for divorce apply the same way to common law marriage as traditional marriage, and the divorcing couple will need to negotiate their shared property division, child custody, maintenance agreements, and any other applicable factors. However, securing a common law marriage is a good way for married spouses to also maintain financial independence separate from one another. Many couples who decide to pursue common law marriage will first sign cohabitation agreements to outline their financial obligations to each other and which property remains under the individual ownership of each spouse.

Why Hire an Attorney?

Although common law marriage may sound straightforward, there are still many issues that can arise to complicate the process. A common law marriage may also become grounds for contention in a subsequent divorce. For example, one spouse may argue that the typical rules for divorce do not apply to common law marriage dissolution. If you are considering common law marriage in the Austin, Texas area, or are contemplating a divorce from a common law marriage partner, our firm can help.

Abraham Kant Esquire, of SSJM Family Law, has a strong history of successful cases in Texas and has dedicated his legal practice to family law. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation. We will work through your case on an individual basis, review your common law marriage situation, and let you know about cohabitation agreements, prenuptial contracts, or divorce options.