Marriage in Texas
Authored By: Legal Aid of Northwest Texas - Dallas
Texas Court will generally recognize a formal marriage between husband and wife conducted according to the law of any state or foreign country. In Texas, the marital relationship can be established between a man and a woman by a formal ceremony or by common law.
A ceremonial marriage requires a marriage license issued by the county clerk. You must complete a sworn application that establishes the facts required to show that you are legally eligible to enter into the marital relationship. Persons under 18 years of age required parental consent or a court order. You cannot be currently married. You cannot marry a person with a blood relationship of first cousin or closer. You cannot marry a current or former step-parent or step-child.
The marriage ceremony must be conducted within 31 days of the day the license is issued by the county clerk. The ceremony generally must not be conducted within 72 hours of the issuance of the license. Any Judge, Justice, Justice of the Peace, Minister, Priest, Rabbi or other authorized officer of a religious organization may perform the ceremony. It is unlawful to refuse to perform the marriage ceremony between two persons eligible to marry because of race, religion or national origin.
A common law marriage can be created by any two persons of opposite gender over 18 years of age otherwise eligible to enter into a marital relationship. The common law marriage can be established by the husband and wife filing a Declaration of Marriage provided by the county clerk. A Texas court will recognize a common law marriage without a Declaration of Marriage if the man and woman 1) agreed to be married; 2) live together as man and wife; and, 3) hold themselves out to others as husband and wife.
Community Property State
Each spouse has a duty to provide financial support for the other spouse. Any property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage, other than separate property defined by statute, is considered community property with each spouse owning 50%. All property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be community property. A person claiming separate property acquired during the marriage must establish their claim by clear and convincing evidence.
Separate property is defined as: Property owned prior to marriage; Property acquired by gift or inheritance during marriage; Personal injury damages for other than lost wages.