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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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I have been involved in a relationship for app. 1 ...

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I have been involved in a relationship for app. 1 year. During that itme I have purchased a home and furniture for that home. The home is in my name. She did not provide any of the down payment or closing costes. The relationship desolved and now the other party is claiming common law marriage. There has been a vehicle that was purchased in her name that I have been making payments. What is my exposure for the vehicle and items purchased for the home.
In Texas she must prove that a common law marriage existed before she can assert any rights as a common law spouse. According to the Texas Family code [see below], she would need to establish this by filing a suit to dissolve the marriage. She would need to do this within 2 years when the relationship terminated. According to the statute you either signed a declaration of a common law marriage, which is filed with the court clerk or you agreed to be married, are cohabiting and have represented yourself to the community as a married couple.

If she can established this then she may be able to claim status as a common-law spouse.

In terms of distribution of property. All property acquired during the marriage is considered a martial asset. Texas is a community property state which means each spouse is entitled to 50/50 ownership rights. Exception, property given as a gift is considered that person's separate property. Debts incurred during the marriage are also subject to a 50/50 split.

So if she can prove a common law marriage, she can claim an interest to the home and furnishings. The vehicle can be her separate property but she may be requried to split the debts on the vehicle as a community property debt.

Again she would have to prove the common law marriage to prevail as a common law spouse, if she has not filed any suit, then you are not required to give her anything. Further, if two years have passed, then she would be barred from filing the suit.


SUBCHAPTER E. MARRIAGE WITHOUT FORMALITIES



§ 2.401. PROOF OF INFORMAL MARRIAGE. (a) In a
judicial, administrative, or other proceeding, the marriage of a
man and woman may be proved by evidence that:
(1) a declaration of their marriage has been signed as
provided by this subchapter; or
(2) the man and woman agreed to be married and after
the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife
and there represented to others that they were married.
(b) If a proceeding in which a marriage is to be proved as
provided by Subsection (a)(2) is not commenced before the second
anniversary of the date on which the parties separated and ceased
living together, it is rebuttably presumed that the parties did not
enter into an agreement to be married.
(c) A person under 18 years of age may not:
(1) be a party to an informal marriage; or
(2) execute a declaration of informal marriage under
Section 2.402.
(d) A person may not be a party to an informal marriage or
execute a declaration of an informal marriage if the person is
presently married to a person who is not the other party to the
informal marriage or declaration of an informal marriage, as
applicable.


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Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. . You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. I do not provide general or specific legal advice. . I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are recommended to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate and complete information. Thank you.

Attorney & Mediator and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If she is claiming that the vehicle was a gift would the amount that is still owed be part of the 50/50 debt division? If the furniture that was put on a credit card and the credit card still has an amount outstanding,would she be responsilbe for half of that amount? She has contacted a lawyer should I try to deal with her directly or with her lawyer? Should I have a lawyer represent me if this continues?
Hi:

1) A gift is considered separate property, so she would not be liable for that debt. You would be. So you can be solely responsible for the car payments if she argues the car was a gift.

2) As to the credit card debt. Texas is a community property state so all debts incurred during the "marriage relationship" is considered a marital debt, where she can also be responsible for half of the balance due.

3) If she has already contacted a lawyer, then I would strongly recommend that you have a lawyer to represent your interests as in all likelihood she might be pursuing this. You will need to speak with her to see what her plans are, if she is unwilling to work things out with you, then yes get yourself an attorney.

All the best.


If I have been helpful, please click Accept for my time and research. If you need more help, please click reply. Positive Feedback is greatly appreciated and reciprocated. Feedback should relate to customer service and not about the law, which I have no control over, thank you.

Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. . You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. I do not provide general or specific legal advice. . I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are recommended to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate and complete information. Thank you.

Attorney & Mediator and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you