What Constitutes a Common Law Marriage in Texas?

To have a common law marriage in Texas, two people must agree to be married, live together as a married couple and tell others that they are married without a wedding ceremony or a marriage license, explains FindLaw. Common law marriage has the same legal status as ceremonial marriage in Texas.

Section 2.401 of the Texas Family Code establishes the legal requirements for an informal, or common law, marriage. Such a marriage can be established in two ways: by registering a declaration and oath within the couple's county of residence stating that the couple agrees to be married or by meeting a three-pronged test of agreeing to be married, living together in Texas and presenting themselves to others as a married couple. The parties to a common law marriage must not be related to each other by blood, and both must be over 18 years old. If the couple chooses to register a declaration and oath, each party must provide proof of identity and age.

Once a couple is established in a common law marriage, they are subject to the same laws as a ceremonially married couple, notes FindLaw. This means that a couple married by common law choosing to end their marriage must go through the same divorce procedures as ceremonially married couples.