Common Law Marriages in Texas, Part Two

In our recent blog post, we delved into the complexities of common law marriages in Texas. We outlined the three essential qualifications required for legal recognition, including the declaration of informal marriage. Yet, common law unions often prompt numerous questions and scenarios. Among these is the inquiry, “Is it possible to change your last name with a common law marriage in Texas?”

To provide a comprehensive understanding of this unique marital arrangement, we’ll revisit the three qualifications specifically. Furthermore, we will address common misconceptions, the name-change aspect, and other essential considerations surrounding common law marriages in Texas.

Common Law Marriage Requirements

In brief, the three essential requirements for a common law marriage to be recognized as valid entail:

  1. Both individuals must be consenting adults.
  2. They must reside together in the state of Texas as a married couple after mutually agreeing to be married.
  3. They must present themselves as a married couple to the community.

Simply telling someone every so often that you and your spouse are married will not suffice. There must be some declaration of informal marriage. Now, let’s delve into today’s blog post. We’ll explore past court rulings that establish how individuals have held themselves out as married to others.

On a more formal level:

  1. Filing your taxes as married filing jointly, rather than as a separate filing can assist in finding you are common-law married to your spouse.
  2. Using your spouse’s last name if you are a woman when applying for a social security card or a bank account can go a long way towards meeting this third qualification for a common-law marriage.