Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Texas Marriage Laws

Have you ever wondered, “How many times can you get married in the state of Texas?” Today, we’re diving deep into the nuances of Texas marriage laws to uncover the answer. So, buckle up and prepare to explore the intricacies of love, legalities, and everything in between! Whether you’re a seasoned marriage veteran or contemplating your first trip down the aisle, understanding Texas marriage laws is essential for navigating the journey of love with clarity and confidence.

Short answer: In Texas, there is no limit to how many times you can say, “I do!” That’s right, and you’re free to take multiple trips to the altar if your heart desires. But hey, before you start planning a wedding extravaganza, let’s explore the ins and outs of marriage in the great state of Texas.

In this comprehensive article, first we’ll uncover the fascinating marriage requirements in Texas, including age restrictions, residency rules, and the essential documents you’ll need. Then, we’ll explore the exciting realm of name changes after marriage, discuss the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in the Lone Star State, and uncover the secrets of premarital agreements (yes, they can be a lifesaver!).

Love knows no borders, so we’ll also detour to international marriages, discovering the legal implications and the adventure that awaits when saying “I do” to someone from a different nation.

And hey, let’s not forget about divorce. We’ll tackle the divorce process, the grounds for divorce, and what happens when children are involved. Child custody, visitation rights, child support—oh, the drama! But fear not, we’ll guide you through it all. Moreover, we’ll shed light on spousal support, domestic violence protections, the international aspects of marriage and divorce, and even post-divorce modifications. We’ll touch on cohabitation agreements, marriage counseling, and the serious consequences of marriage fraud. Lastly, for all you unmarried lovebirds out there, we haven’t forgotten you!

We’ve got everything covered from legal requirements to heartwarming stories and complexities. 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Texas Marriage Laws

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Texas marriage laws. Whether you’re considering tying the knot or simply curious about the legal aspects of matrimony, we’re here to provide you with general insights into marriage and divorce laws and processes. Remember that the laws and outcomes may vary based on the individual circumstances of your case. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of Texas marriage!

Marriage in Texas and the United States has seen evolving definitions over time. In 2005, Texas voters approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution, defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. This definition is enshrined in Section 32 of the Texas Constitution. However, the landscape of marriage law experienced a significant shift with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. This decision extended the right of civil union to same-sex couples, granting them equal benefits and recognition. It’s important to note that the legal definition of marriage can differ from religious definitions. Various religious institutions have their own specific definitions, such as the Catholic Church’s stance against interfaith marriages or divorce and Islam’s allowance for multiple wives.

Marriage comes with a host of legal benefits at both the state and federal levels. These benefits can include:

Legal Effects of Marriage


1. Marital tax credit

Enjoy potential tax advantages available to married couples, such as lower tax rates, expanded tax brackets, and eligibility for various tax credits and deductions.

2. Filing taxes jointly

Combine your incomes and deductions when filing taxes, potentially reducing your overall tax liability and simplifying the tax preparation process.

3. Social Security benefits

Qualify for spousal Social Security benefits, including retirement benefits, disability benefits, and survivor benefits. This can provide added financial security and support during retirement or in case of disability or the passing of a spouse.

4. Prenuptial agreement benefits

Safeguard assets and define financial arrangements with a prenuptial agreement, ensuring clear expectations and peace of mind in case of divorce.

5. IRA benefits

Maximize spousal IRA contributions and retirement benefits, enabling both spouses to contribute to IRAs according to their incomes, potentially boosting retirement savings and tax advantages.


6. Legal decision-making benefits

Obtain the authority to make significant legal and medical decisions for your spouse, including healthcare and financial choices, ensuring you have the necessary legal power when required.

7. Inheritance benefits

Ensure your spouse is eligible for inheritance rights and benefits, simplifying the transfer of assets upon your passing. This can help secure your spouse’s financial well-being and prevent legal disputes or challenges regarding inheritance rights.

8. Health insurance benefits

Access health insurance coverage through your spouse’s employer or benefit from spousal coverage under certain plans. This can provide vital healthcare protection and potentially save on insurance costs compared to individual coverage.

9. Paternity child benefits

Secure legal rights and responsibilities for children born during the marriage, covering paternity rights, custody, visitation, and child support. This safeguards your legal status in your children’s lives and supports their well-being.

10. Leave benefits

Access different leave options, including family and medical leave, to attend to your spouse or children during significant life events, illnesses, or emergencies, without compromising job security or financial stability.

Age Requirements for Marriage in Texas

Yes, Texas has age requirements for marriage. According to Section 2.101 of the Texas Family Code, a county clerk cannot issue a marriage license if either applicant is under 18 years of age, unless each underage applicant can demonstrate a court order that removes the disabilities of a minority. Additionally, Section 6.205 of the Texas Family Code states that a marriage to a minor is void if either party is younger than 18 years old, unless a court order removing the disabilities of minority has been obtained in Texas or another state.

Marrying Relatives: What’s Allowed?

The ability to marry relatives in Texas depends on the specific relationships involved. Under Section 6.202 of the Texas Family Code, you cannot marry:

  1. An ancestor or descendant, whether by blood or adoption.
  2. A brother or sister, whether of whole or half blood or by adoption.
  3. A parent’s brother or sister, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption.
  4. A son or daughter of a brother or sister, whether of the full or half blood or by adoption.

Furthermore, Section 6.206 of the Texas Family Code stipulates that a marriage is void if one party is a current or former stepchild or stepparent of the other party.

These regulations aim to prevent marriages that could raise concerns regarding incestuous or exploitative relationships.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore more frequently asked questions about Texas marriage. In our upcoming blog posts, we’ll cover topics such as divorce, child support, property division, alimony, and much more. So, keep reading to deepen your understanding of the legal landscape surrounding marriage in the Lone Star State!

Can I be married to more than one person at a time?


Under Section 25.01 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual commits an offense if: (1) he is legally married and he: (A) purports to marry or does marry a person other than his spouse in this state, or any other state or a foreign country, under circumstances that would, but for the actor’s prior marriage, constitute a marriage;.”

What is a “licensed marriage?”

A “ceremonial marriage” or a “licensed marriage” requires a license.

Section 2.001of the Texas Family Code requires a person “…desiring to enter into a ceremonial marriage must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk of any county of this state.”

Under Section 2.202 of the Texas Family Code, the following persons are authorized to perform a marriage:

  1. a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
  2. a Jewish rabbi;
  3. a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;
  4. a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, former justice of the peace, judge of a municipal court, retired judge of a municipal court, associate judge of a statutory probate court, retired associate judge of a statutory probate court, associate judge of a county court at law, retired associate judge of a county court at law, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state; and
  5. a retired judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.

Is there a waiting period after I have a marriage license before getting married?

Yes, under Texas Family Code Section 2.204(a), there is a “…72-hour waiting period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license.” Unless an applicant:

  1. is a member of the armed forces of the United States and on active duty;
  2. is not a member of the armed forces of the United States but performs work for the United States Department of Defense as a department employee or under a contract with the department;
  3. obtains a written waiver under Subsection (c); or
  4. completes a premarital education course described by Section 2.013 and provides to the county clerk a premarital education course completion certificate indicating completion of the premarital education course not more than one year before the date the marriage license application is filed with the clerk.

(c) An applicant may request a judge of a court with jurisdiction in family law cases, a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a county judge, or a judge of a court of appeals for a written waiver permitting the marriage ceremony to take place during the 72 hours immediately following the issuance of the marriage license. If the judge finds that there is good cause for the marriage during the period, the judge shall sign the waiver. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a judge under this section has the authority to sign a waiver under this section.

How long do I have to be married before getting a divorce?

There is no mandatory amount of time for you and your spouse to be married before filing for divorce in Texas.

Can I marry more than five times?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of times you can marry. However, you can only be matched with one person at a time.

How Many Times Can You Get Married in the State of Texas?

When it comes to the topic of marriage, many questions can arise. One question that often arises is, “How many times can you marry in the state of Texas?” Let’s delve into the details and illuminate this intriguing topic.

Marriage Requirements

Before delving into the number of marriages allowed in Texas, let’s first explore the requirements for getting married in the Lone Star State. When it comes to tying the knot, Texas has a few stipulations. Besides being head over heels in love, there are other factors to consider.

To be eligible for marriage in Texas, you must meet certain criteria. These requirements include age, residency, identification documents, and waiting periods. For instance, individuals under 18 years of age must obtain a court order removing the disabilities of minority to obtain a marriage license. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these requirements to ensure a smooth and legal union.

Common-Law Marriage

Now that we’ve touched on the basic requirements, let’s explore the concept of common-law marriage. In Texas, a common-law marriage is recognized under certain circumstances. This type of marriage is not based on a formal ceremony or obtaining a marriage license but rather on the actions and intentions of the couple involved.

For a common-law marriage to be valid, three elements must be present: (1) the couple must agree to be married, (2) they must live together as husband and wife, and (3) they must present themselves to others as a married couple. It’s important to note that common-law marriages in Texas have the same legal rights and responsibilities as formal marriages.


In addition to marriage and divorce, another legal option available is annulment. Annulment is distinct from divorce and declares a marriage null and void, as if it never happened. Grounds for annulment can include fraud, bigamy, underage marriage, mental incapacity, or a marriage entered into under duress.

If you believe your marriage meets the criteria for annulment, it is crucial to consult with a legal professional to understand the process and grounds specific to your situation.

Marital Property

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about marital property. In the unfortunate event of divorce, understanding the division of marital property becomes essential. Texas applies community property laws, which generally consider property acquired during the marriage as community property subject to division.

However, certain assets may be classified as separate property, including property acquired before the marriage, inheritances, and gifts. Equitable distribution is the goal when dividing marital property, considering factors such as earning capacity, contributions to the marriage, and the needs of each spouse.

Name Change after Marriage

Changing their name after getting married is a significant decision for many individuals. In Texas, the process of changing your name after marriage involves a few steps. You will need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate and update your identification documents, such as your Social Security card, driver’s license, and passport. Following the proper procedures is essential to ensure a smooth transition to your new name.

Same-Sex Marriage

In recent years, significant strides have been made in the recognition of same-sex marriages. The legal landscape has evolved, and same-sex couples in Texas now enjoy the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples. Understanding the specific considerations and regulations surrounding same-sex marriage in Texas is crucial, ensuring equal recognition and protection under the law.

Premarital Agreements

Many couples choose to enter into prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements, to outline the division of assets, spousal support, and other important matters in the event of divorce. These agreements provide clarity and protection for both parties, and they can cover various aspects of asset division and spousal support.

It’s essential to understand the purpose and enforceability of prenuptial agreements and consult with legal professionals to draft an agreement that meets your specific needs.

International Marriages

Love knows no boundaries, and sometimes marriages involve foreign nationals or take place in other countries. International marriages come with their own set of legal implications and requirements. It’s crucial to navigate the complexities of international marriage, including issues of jurisdiction, recognition of foreign marriages, and enforcement of foreign divorce decrees. Seeking legal advice can help ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Divorce Process

When a marriage ends, understanding the divorce process becomes paramount. Familiarizing yourself with the steps involved can provide clarity and ease the emotional and legal challenges that come with divorce. In Texas, the divorce process involves filing procedures, mediation or alternative dispute resolution options, and a timeline for completing the divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

Texas recognizes various grounds for divorce, including adultery, cruelty, abandonment, and no-fault divorce. Understanding the different grounds and their implications can help individuals make informed decisions and navigate the legal system effectively.

Child Custody and Visitation

Divorce often involves decisions regarding child custody and visitation. Texas family courts consider the child’s best interests when determining custody arrangements. Factors such as the child’s well-being, the parents’ ability to provide care, and maintaining stability are considered. Understanding the laws and factors considered in child custody and visitation can help parents protect their children’s welfare during and after divorce.

Child Support

Child support is another critical aspect of divorce involving children. Enforcing child support orders ensures the child’s well-being and proper financial support. Texas has guidelines for calculating child support obligations based on various factors such as the parents’ income and the child’s needs.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded in certain circumstances. Factors considered in determining spousal support include the duration of the marriage, the parties’ earning capacity, and contributions made during the marriage. The duration and amount of spousal support can vary depending on these factors and the specific circumstances of the case.

Domestic Violence and Protective Orders

Unfortunately, domestic violence can occur within marriages. As such, Texas provides legal remedies for victims of domestic violence, including obtaining protective orders to ensure their safety. Understanding the available resources, legal protections, and how to seek assistance from law enforcement is essential for individuals facing domestic violence situations.

International Aspects of Marriage and Divorce

With globalization and cross-cultural relationships, international aspects of marriage and divorce have become more prevalent. These aspects encompass issues of jurisdiction, recognition of foreign marriages, and the enforcement of foreign divorce decrees. Navigating these complexities requires careful consideration and professional guidance to ensure compliance with the law.

Post-Divorce Modifications

Even after a divorce is finalized, circumstances may change, necessitating modifications to divorce-related orders. This can include modifications to child custody arrangements, child support obligations, or spousal support. Understanding the process and circumstances under which these modifications can be made is vital to ensure all parties’ continued well-being.

Cohabitation Agreements

Not all couples choose to get married, and many opt for cohabitation instead. Unmarried couples who choose to live together may enter into cohabitation agreements to establish legal rights and obligations. These agreements can address matters such as property division, financial support, and child custody. Understanding the legal implications and protections of cohabitation agreements can help unmarried couples protect their rights.

Marriage Counseling and Therapy

Marriages often face challenges, and seeking professional help can be beneficial. Marriage counseling and therapy services support and guide couples experiencing difficulties in their relationship. Understanding the benefits and availability of these services can help couples navigate their issues and work towards a healthier and happier marriage.

Marriage Fraud

Marriage fraud, such as entering into a sham marriage for immigration purposes, has legal consequences and penalties. Engaging in fraudulent marriages can lead to criminal charges and immigration issues. It’s crucial to recognize and avoid the severe consequences of marriage fraud, ensuring that marriages are entered into genuinely and for the right reasons.

Interfaith Marriages

Interfaith marriages bring together individuals from different religious backgrounds. These marriages can present unique challenges and legal considerations, including the impact on religious ceremonies and customs. Understanding the legal aspects and potential conflicts in interfaith marriages, therefore, is crucial for couples navigating the complexities of differing religious beliefs.

In conclusion, Texas has various regulations and legal considerations surrounding marriage, divorce, and related matters. So, whether it’s your first, second, or fifth marriage, having a solid understanding of the legal framework can contribute to a successful and legally compliant union. Understanding the requirements, rights, and responsibilities can help individuals make informed decisions and navigate the legal system effectively.

Wrap Up: Let’s Explore the Wild World of Texas Marriage!

Marriage in Texas knows no bounds when it comes to the number of times you can say, “I do!” So, whether you’re planning your second, third, or even fifth wedding extravaganza, rest assured, the Lone Star State welcomes your love story with open arms. Just be sure to secure a trusty marriage license and adhere to all legal requirements along the way.

But beyond the ceremony, remember that marriage is a journey filled with shared experiences, challenges, and cherished moments. Whether you’re exchanging vows under the Texas sun or embarking on a unique path like a common-law marriage, embrace the adventure with open hearts and minds. Stay tuned for more insights into the legal aspects of marriage, including divorce, child support, and property division, as we continue to explore the intersection of love and the law in the great state of Texas.

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  1. Frequently Asked Questions in Texas Divorce Cases
  2. 15 Myths About Divorce in Texas
  3. 9 Questions to Ask Yourself and the Divorce Lawyer Before You Hire Them
  4. Common Questions about Texas Prenuptial and Marital Agreements
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  6. My Fiancé wants me to sign a Texas Prenup. What should I do?
  7. Making Postnuptial Agreements Stick in a Texas Divorce
  8. Attacking the Enforceability of a Premarital Agreement in a Texas Divorce
  9. Dower Contracts and a Texas Divorce
  10. Dangers of Common Law Marriage with Estate Planning
  11. Why do police marriages fail?
  12. Can Common Law Marriage be Backdated / Is Obergefell Retroactive?

Frequently Asked Questions: Texas Marriage

Can you get married more than 7 times in Texas?

No, there is no specific limit on the number of times you can get married in Texas. You are free to marry as many times as you wish, as long as you meet the legal requirements for marriage.

Can you remarry your ex in Texas?

Yes, it is possible to remarry your ex-spouse in Texas. However, it’s important to note that the success of the relationship and legal considerations should be carefully evaluated before making such a decision.

Is there a limit on how many times you can remarry in Texas?

No, Texas does not impose any specific limit on the number of times you can remarry. As long as you meet the legal requirements and fulfill any divorce or annulment obligations, you can remarry multiple times if desired.

Do I need proof of divorce to remarry in Texas?

Yes, in order to remarry in Texas, you will typically need to provide proof of your divorce or annulment. This proof may include a final divorce decree or annulment judgment issued by a court of law.

Can an ex-wife go after the new wife’s income in Texas?

No, in general, an ex-wife cannot go after the new wife’s income in Texas. Texas follows community property laws, which typically involve the division of assets acquired during the marriage. However, the income of a new spouse is generally not considered community property and is separate from any obligations or rights related to the ex-spouse.

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