If you are married to someone and not divorced but the other person gets married to someone else, is it illegal if they didn’t get marriage license?

Asked on November 15, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Texas is one of the few states that still recognizes common law or informal marriages.  The fact that someone did not get a license is not controlling.  Instead, what is required is that the two people agreed to be married, that they held themselves out to be married, and they then lived together.  So, as to the part of your question about the other person not getting a license, the marriage will not be illegal because of the the lack of a license under Texas laws regarding informal marriages.

However, the issue is the remarriage without a divorce.  Bigamy is still against the law and on the books in Texas.  Some counties still prosecutor for this offense, which is a felony level offense.  So if someone remarried prior to getting a divorce, then they could be guilty of bigamy because the second marriage would be illegal and voidable.


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