Austin, TX asked in Divorce and Family Law for Texas

Q: Which date do I put for my marriage on divorce paperwork?

Our small private ceremony in Texas with exchanged jewelry (anklet) & witnesses (not registered with state): 12/22/11.

Full cohabitation: 2/1/12.

Claimed common-law marriage on 2012 Texas taxes.

Wife finishing degree (no cohabitation during): 5/1/12 - 12/1/12 (Her primary address was still my address throughout this time.)

I moved to California: 7/1/12. (Her primary address moved with me.)

California courthouse ceremony with exchanged rings & 1 witness (because they don't accept common law marriages in California): 3/21/13.

We returned to Texas: 9/2/15.

Anklet did not come off since it went on. My ring was cut off to save my finger in 2016 and was not replaced. Her ring has stayed on up until 2 months ago, and has been on & off repeatedly since that point.

Children: 0 (I'm sterile)

Cats: 2

We agree on the division of our things, so the only detail of the divorce that is not straightforward is the initial date of the marriage.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Chad Zubi
Chad Zubi
Answered
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: I would say that you can claim that you have been married since the 2011 date when you formed your intention to be married in Texas and lived together as a married couple. To have a common law marriage in Texas you must satisfy the three following elements:

(1) Agree to be married

(2) Live together as husband and wife in Texas, and

(3) Told others (hold yourselves out) that you are married

Your situation is interesting and various arguments could be made as to when you first lived together as husband and wife in Texas and of course the other elements.

Eric James Smith agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.