Does Texas Recognize Common Law Marriage for Gay Couples?

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in every state, has opened the door for same-sex couples to enter into common-law marriage in Texas. This type of marriage, also known as an informal marriage, is established when two people meet all the requirements of a common-law marriage and agree to be married. The Texas Department of State Health Services states that “applicants, regardless of gender, can apply for an informal marriage license using any date applicable to their relationship.”Once a common-law marriage is legally established and in existence, it is the same as a marriage that was established through a wedding ceremony or license.

To register your marriage, you must file a Declaration of Informal Marriage with the Clerk of the County of your residence. The form can be filled out in advance, but both parties must sign it in the clerk's office under oath. This is an important question affecting determinations of separate and community assets and benefits, such as pensions and Social Security. If you are considering moving to another state, you may want to consider seeking legal advice regarding LGBT rights from a family law lawyer or law firm in the state you are considering moving to. Under state law, a same-sex spouse can file for divorce in a county where at least one spouse resides. With the Texas court now recognizing gay marriages, same-sex couples can marry and divorce no differently than opposite-sex couples.

For example, if you filed a tax return as a married couple, applied for loans as a married couple, wore rings on your ring fingers for everyone to see, and filed as a married couple in other ways, the court could declare the informal marriage valid. Justin Nichols, a lawyer for Hoffman at the San Antonio-based Nichols law firm, told Metro Weekly in an interview that proving a common law marriage can be difficult. Even many of the jurors were initially confused about what constituted a common law marriage, believing that it required living together for a certain period of time. Today's victory will bring joy to tens of thousands of Texans and their families who have the same dreams of marriage as anyone else. While the work toward equality for all Texans is far from over, the campaign for freedom to marry has been transformative in helping Texans understand who gay people are. Graham said the Supreme Court could reverse its own precedent at some point, resulting in a ban on same-sex marriages in 36 states that prohibit same-sex marriages, either by law or by constitutional amendment. Later, the same marriage laws and divorce laws now apply to all married couples regardless of gender or sexual orientation. On Dec.

8, Attorney General Crawford Martin declared the marriage null and void, upheld the clerk's decision not to recognize the marriage, and said it was impossible for a same-sex couple to marry. Last week, however, a San Antonio jury delivered a verdict in favor of a gay man who sought to prove that he had been in a common law marriage since 1996 and is therefore entitled to alimony and other marital benefits even when he and his partner separate. Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code criminalizes sexual relations between men. In 1973, following a same-sex couple's application for a marriage license in Wharton County the previous year, the Texas Legislature passed a bill requiring marriages to be between a man and a woman. However, with Obergefell v.

Hodges ruling that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, it changed the lives of many Texas same-sex couples.