Texas recognizes common law marriages or what Texas calls "Informal Marriages." There are two different ways you can have an informal marriage:
- Agreeing to be married; living together in Texas after the agreement; and, representing to others that you are married; or,
- Signing a "Declaration of Marriage.
A person who claims a common law marriage must prove it. A proceeding to
prove the informal marriage has a statute of limitation. The proceeding must be filed within certain time limits after the date of death of one of the spouses or within the time limits after the date the parties ceased living together as husband and wife. If a proceeding is not commenced within the statute of limitation, there is a rebuttable presumption that the parties did not have a common law marriage. FC 2.401.
Once proven, a common law spouse is treated the same as any other spouse in Texas.