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Houston, Texas
(713) 364-0170

Austin, Texas
(512) 518-1584

Advocating For You

Can I get spousal support if I am in a common law marriage?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Divorce

The breakup of any relationship can be painful and often traumatic. If you lived together and acted like a married couple, you may wonder if you qualify for spousal support.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 33% of adults have never married. If you have lived with someone for a long time in a relationship like a marriage, you may qualify for spousal support.

Requirements for a common law marriage

People sometimes divorce to gain financial autonomy, but in other situations, you may need spousal support. A court in Texas will recognize your common law marriage if you can prove the following:

  • You acted in a way that others believed you got married
  • You lived together as if you had married
  • Both you and your partner agreed to a marriage

You both must also be 18 years old or older, and both unmarried to others while you lived together. Also, you cannot be family members.

How to prove you acted married

It may be difficult to prove that you both acted as if you got married. Some things you can show as proof include:

  • If you used the same last name
  • If you wore wedding rings
  • If you opened a joint bank account
  • If you filed joint tax returns
  • If you shared household chores and expenses
  • If you referred to each other as spouses

You should also consider asking family members and friends to either testify in court or submit affidavits. Ask them to testify that you both acted as if you got married.