Are You Married and Don't Even Know It?

Are You Married and Don't Even Know It?


Instead of getting married and moving in together, a lot of couples are skipping the former and just going to the latter. 
             "It's just easier this way!"
             "I'm just trying to see if marriage with this person is going to work out."
             "I don't need a piece of paper to tell me what I am!"
You've heard it all before. Maybe you've even said it yourself. Maybe you're doing it right now.  Now this article is not to judge anyone. You might have to talk to one if things don't work out too well in the end. First you have to prove if you were even married in the first place.
To Prove A Common Law In Texas
In order to get married, whether with a ceremony  or common law, all parties must possess the required capacity to get married.  In order for a marriage to be valid in Texas, the parties in question must:
  1. Be a man and a woman
  2. Not have been divorced with in the past thirty days
  3. Not be presently married to a third party
  4. Be 18 years of age, unless the underage party has received an order from the court giving them permission to marry, or show proof of consent from parents
  5. Not be related as an ancestor or descendant, related by blood or adoption, nor be siblings by whole of half blood, nor be the child of a brother or sister by whole or half blood
Practically, like a ceremonial marriage, the parties of an informal marriage must be of the opposite sex, be of legal age, and have no legal qualms above, such as those dealing with kinship or currently married.
The Three Prong Test
To find the existence of a common law or informal marriage, it is only justified if the evidence determines that the parties have agreed to be married, that they lived together in Texas as husband and wife, and they have represented themselves publicly as being married. All three of these requirements must exist at the same time. 
In short, if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a marriage!
If there is any question about any situation you're in and it's legal classification, please contact an attorney.
If you're interested in contacting Eric D. Bolton for any of your freelance writing needs, please contact me at ericdbolton@mail.com