Common law marriage and now spouse is deceased

Asked about 1 year ago - 77562

can i be made to move if i was in common law marriage for seven years and now spouse is deceased and i have a stepson who is 20 and there is a will that says he gets everything

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Kendall Shane Cockrell

    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Are you in Texas? If so, the first question is whether or not the courts will recognize you as common law spouse. There are specific criteria that must be met/proven.
    This question is very important because a widowed spouse has a right to remain in the homestead until he/she leaves or dies regardless of any will. However, a long-time boyfriend/girlfriend does not have that right.
    You need to speak with an attorney make sure what your rights are and that any rights you have are protected. If you would like to contact our office, I can be reached at or by phone during business hours at 855-945-5750.

  2. Mark Allen Land

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should hire an attorney that handles probate matters immediately. Under the Texas constitution, the surviving spouse is entitled to a "life estate" in the homestead until the spouse abandons the property. The surviving spouse also has an interest in the couple's other community property. The details of your situation should be discussed with an attorney. Good luck.

  3. Aaron Scott Hill

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First you may want to verify that your "informal marriage" is valid. Then you are entitled to your share of community property. If you did not register at the courthouse, you may need to first prove that you were married by this statute.

    Texas: calls it an "informal marriage," rather than a common-law marriage. Under ยง 2.401 of the Texas Family Code, an informal marriage can be established either by declaration (registering at the county courthouse without having a ceremony), or by meeting a three-prong test showing evidence of (1) an agreement to be married; (2) cohabitation in Texas; and (3) representation to others that the parties are married. A 1995 update adds an evidentiary presumption that there was no marriage if no suit for proof of marriage is filed within two years of the date the parties separated and ceased living together.

    Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only,... more
  4. Edward Brandon Beckham

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Consult with an attorney, licensed in your jurisdiction, who is experienced in this area of law. Many lawyers, in a majority of jurisdictions, provide free initial consultations; see if there are any in your area.

    This is not legal advice. This response is provided for general information only, as a public service. It is not... more

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