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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.