If 2 people are in a common law marriage, can they file as married on taxes?

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If 2 people are in a common law marriage, can they file as married on taxes?

If they do file as married, if they were to “break up” would they have to file for a divorce? Even though say they have no interest on splitting their things in half. Just keeping what they payed/own rightfully. Mutual agreement pretty much?

Asked on February 4, 2016 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, since common law marriage is legally marriage, they may file taxes as a married couple.
2) And since the common marriage is legal marriage, you need to get divorced to dissolve it (there are some who feel that you don't need to formally divorce if there are no children and also no property to divide, especially if you only lived together a short time--but if you had no children, no joint property, and were only together for a brief time, you probably didn't actually qualify to be common law married).


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