Q: I have been divorced since 2004, but my ex and I reconciled, bought a home, and have luved together since in Texas
This year, we filed taxes together. Do we now have a common law marriage?
Would we need another divorce should anything happen?
A: A common law marriage is established when a man and a woman:
1. Agree to be married;
2. Hold themselves out to others as being married; and
3. Live together.
So, to answer your question, it depends on whether or not you've "held out" as husband and wife - meaning, have you represented yourselves to third parties as being married (if there's significant evidence of holding out to third parties, the Court will likely imply the agreement to be married). Some of the primary things a Court will look at to see if you've held out as husband and wife are:
1. deeds to property (does your deed refer to you as "husband and wife" or "married persons"?);
2. Income tax filings (did you file as married?); and
3. Whether one of you is carrying the other on his or her health insurance as a spouse.
If there is a common law marriage, then you would have to file another divorce suit to terminate it - just the same as if you'd had a ceremonial marriage.
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