Is there any way to live with someone and call them your spouse without becoming common-law married?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is there any way to live with someone and call them your spouse without becoming common-law married?

My wife and I live in Texas and are considering entering into a polyamorous
relationship with our roommate. Specifically, I would be in a relationship with
her as well as my wife. We’d prefer to be able to ‘get married’ via a ceremony
at home so that as far as we are concerned I have both of them as wives, but
we’re worried that we would become common-law married and it’s illegal to be
married to two different people at once. Is there any way for me to refer to
both of them publicly as my wives without becoming common-law married and as a
result breaking the law?

Asked on July 11, 2018 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are actually looking at it backwards: it is not the case that you and this other woman would be married and so be in violation of the law; it's that because polygamy is not legal in this nation and you cannot marry person B while concurrently married to person A, the relationship with your roommate would not be considered a marriage and would be legally void. You can't be married to two women at once, even if you wanted to be; there would be no common law marriage to the 2nd woman.

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.

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