How long must a couple live together before they are considered common law married?

Full Question:

How long must a couple live together before they are considered common law married?
11/01/2007   |   Category: Marriage ยป Common Law M...   |   State: Texas   |   #11442

Answer:

The following are Texas statutes:

§ 2.401 FAM. Proof of Informal Marriage

(a) In a judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of
a man and woman may be proved by evidence that:

(1) a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided by this
subchapter; or

(2) the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they
lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to
others that they were married.

(b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as provided by
Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second anniversary of the
date on which the parties separated and ceased living together, it is
rebuttably presumed that the parties did not enter into an agreement to
be married.

(c) A person under 18 years of age may not:

(1) be a party to an informal marriage; or

(2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under Section 2.402.

(d) A person may not be a party to an informal marriage or execute a
declaration of an informal marriage if the person is presently married to
a person who is not the other party to the informal marriage or
declaration of an informal marriage, as applicable.

§ 2.402 FAM. Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage

(a) A declaration of informal marriage must be signed on a form
prescribed by the bureau of vital statistics and provided by the county
clerk. Each party to the declaration shall provide the information
required in the form.

(b) The declaration form must contain:

(1) a heading entitled "Declaration and Registration of Informal
Marriage, __________ County, Texas";

(2) spaces for each party's full name, including the woman's maiden
surname, address, date of birth, place of birth, including city, county,
and state, and social security number, if any;

(3) a space for indicating the type of document tendered by each party
as proof of age and identity;

(4) printed boxes for each party to check "true" or "false" in response
to the following statement: "The other party is not related to me as:

(A) an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;

(B) a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;

(C) a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by
adoption;

(D) a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half
blood or by adoption;

(E) a current or former stepchild or stepparent; or

(F) a son or daughter of a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or
half blood or by adoption.";

(5) a printed declaration and oath reading: "I SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR
AFFIRM) THAT WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, ARE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER BY VIRTUE OF
THE FOLLOWING FACTS: ON OR ABOUT (DATE) WE AGREED TO BE MARRIED, AND
AFTER THAT DATE WE LIVED TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE AND IN THIS STATE
WE REPRESENTED TO OTHERS THAT WE WERE MARRIED. SINCE THE DATE OF MARRIAGE
TO THE OTHER PARTY I HAVE NOT BEEN MARRIED TO ANY OTHER PERSON. THIS
DECLARATION IS TRUE AND THE INFORMATION IN IT WHICH I HAVE GIVEN IS
CORRECT.";

(6) spaces immediately below the printed declaration and oath for the
parties' signatures; and

(7) a certificate of the county clerk that the parties made the
declaration and oath and the place and date it was made.

(c) Repealed by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1362, § 4, eff. Sept. 1,
1997.

§ 2.403 FAM. Proof of Identity and Age; Offense

(a) The county clerk shall require proof of the identity and age of
each party to the declaration of informal marriage to be established by a
certified copy of the party's birth certificate or by some certificate,
license, or document issued by this state or another state, the United
States, or a foreign government.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly provides
false, fraudulent, or otherwise inaccurate proof of the person's identity
or age under this section. An offense under this subsection is a Class A
misdemeanor.

§ 2.404 FAM. Recording of Declaration of Informal Marriage

(a) The county clerk shall:

(1) determine that all necessary information is recorded on the
declaration of informal marriage form and that all necessary documents
are submitted to the clerk;

(2) administer the oath to each party to the declaration;

(3) have each party sign the declaration in the clerk's presence; and

(4) execute the clerk's certificate to the declaration.

(b) The county clerk may not certify or record the declaration if:

(1) either party fails to supply any information or provide any
document required by this subchapter;

(2) either party is under 18 years of age; or

(3) either party checks "false" in response to the statement of
relationship to the other party.

(c) On execution of the declaration, the county clerk shall record the
declaration and all documents submitted with the declaration or note a
summary of them on the declaration form, deliver the original of the
declaration to the parties, and send a copy to the bureau of vital
statistics.

(d) A declaration recorded as provided in this section is prima facie
evidence of the marriage of the parties.

(e) At the time the parties sign the declaration, the clerk shall
distribute to each party printed materials about acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The
clerk shall note on the declaration that the distribution was made. The
materials shall be prepared and provided to the clerk by the Texas
Department of Health and shall be designed to inform the parties about:

(1) the incidence and mode of transmission of AIDS and HIV;

(2) the local availability of medical procedures, including voluntary
testing, designed to show or help show whether a person has AIDS or HIV
infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with any other probable
causative agent of AIDS; and

(3) available and appropriate counseling services regarding AIDS and
HIV infection.

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