do i have to get a divorce if i got common law married while my spouse was in jail?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

do i have to get a divorce if i got common law married while my spouse was in jail?

I was living with my ex’s house while he was in jail and we signed a paper saying we car common law married and went about living our lives as we were married do I still need to get a divorce?

Asked on October 4, 2016 under Family Law, Texas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Texas does recognize common law or informal marriages.  Generally, you can establish a common law marriage by three parts:  an agreement to be married, holding out or telling others that you are married, and co-habitation.  You can also fill out a form and file it with the county clerk declaring your informal marriage.  Your question is not clear whether or not you and he actually lived together... but if you did, then your case would clearly meet the requirements of a common law marriage.  If you filled out a form that was filed with the clerk, then you are considered common law married.
To get child support, you can do two different things:  (1) file for divorce and the divorce court will set child support or (2) file a custody suit and request the family law court to set child support.  You can combine the custody suit with the divorce action.  If your husband successfully challenges the existence of a marriage, then the divorce court will simply convert the divorce to a plain custody suit....and still set child support.
If you only want child support right now, the Texas Attorney General can assist with those services.  If you want to get the divorce started, consult with a family law attorney or local family law clinic to get the process started.

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 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption