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Can we accidentally end up in a common law marriage?

Austin, TX |

My SO and I are living together in Texas. We are living on our respective SS checks. I am 65, and retired. He is 55 and disabled and gets SSD. We have never signed anything or entered into any written contract stating that we wish to have a common law marriage. We do live together, and plan on living together forever. Some people assume we are married, but we have never claimed to be married. Could this situation end up as a common law marriage, requiring us to file income taxes together, or get a divorce if we decide to separate?

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Attorney answers 1


In Texas, a common law marriage requires three things:

1. Living together
2. Agreeing to be married.
3. Telling other people you are married.

Unless you have all three of those factors at the same time, you are not common law married, and because of the second factor, it's virtually impossible to end up "accidentally" common law married. To me it sounds like you are not married.

This is for educational purposes only. This answer is given based on the facts provided above. Contact a local attorney to further discuss these issues. No attorney client relationship is established. These questions and answers are fully searchable and viewable on the internet.

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