If a common law couple spits up, do they need to file for divorce?

Would I need to file for a divorce if I filed married on my taxes for 4 years with

someone and we have children together? We were considered common law in our state.

Asked on September 20, 2016 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a common law marriage may be formed differently than a more "conventional" marriage--i.e. by how you act and hold yourself out, rather than by a marriage license--but it is still a marriage. If you were common law married, as you were based on what you write, rather than simply cohabitating, you need to divorce the same as any other married couple. You assumed a legal status or relationship; it needs to be ended by legal process.

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