How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Amber E. Your Own Question

Amber E.
Amber E., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1424
Experience:  Experienced practitioner in family law, including divorce, custody, and domestic violence cases.
17831645
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Amber E. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My brother has lived in Texas with a woman for 15 years. She

Resolved Question:

My brother has lived in Texas with a woman for 15 years. She wears a wedding ring, calls Him her husband, and they have car insurance together, listed as "married" for the discount.
They are breaking up.
do they need a divorce?
can he marry someone else?
she says she will not sue Him for divorce or go after Him in that way. does that matter? even if she does not file a complaint, would it be illegal if he got married?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.
Q. do they need a divorce? can he marry someone else?

Whether or not a divorce is necessary depends on whether the couple is "common law" married under Texas law, despite a lack of formalities or signed declaration and registration of informal marriage. Living together for a certain period of time does not automatically mean that one is in a common law marriage, nor does the unilateral opinion of one party. Rather, there must be compliance with the three-part test: to have a common law marriage in Texas, the couple must: 1) AGREE to be married, 2) LIVE together in Texas as husband and wife, and 3) TELL other people that they are married.

For example, if a man and woman verbally agree to be married, then sign an apartment lease together as husband and wife, and live together in the apartment, then they have a common-law marriage. If only one party held herself out as married and the other did not, whether the relationship would be deemed a common-law marriage would depend on whether the other party did anything to correct the impression that the couple was married. If he did, then he may have some argument that he had not agreed to be married. But if he knew what was going on and did nothing to correct the impression that they were married, then he may well be in a common law marriage under the law.

If based upon this information a party finds that he is in fact in a common law marriage and no longer wishes to be married, then that marriage can be terminated by a divorce. Getting a divorce is the same as with other marriages except the couple must first prove to the court that they were married.

Nevertheless, the deadline to have a common-law marriage recognized begins to run from the time a couple separates, that is, from the time the couple stops living together. Generally, a couple has two years after they stop living together to ask a court to recognize their common law marriage. If more than two years passes after the couple stops living together, the court will assume there was no agreement to be married. (The marriage can still be proved, but it will be more difficult to show.)

The above referenced law is articulated in Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 2.401, and I have provided a web address to the law for your review.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.2.htm

Unfortunately, we cannot tell the couple what to do, because that would constitute legal advice and we are forbidden from providing advice. We are only able to provide legal information, such as that above, but if there is still a question of what they "should do" then they need to get that advice from a local attorney. If they are unable to afford one, they can contact their local legal aid office for free advice and counsel, and representation if needed.
Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.
Has this answered your question?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This couple never agreed they were married. They only said they were to co-workers and FB for appearances sake. they did not think of each other as married.


would this make them not married under the rules?


yes, they told people they were married, she wore a ring, they bought car insurance and listed as married, but only for the discount.


the number one rule says they have to agree they are married, right? so if they never agreed to, it is not common law?

Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.
If the parties never agreed to be married, then yes under the law there is no common law marriage.

However, when the parties give the public impression that they are married, it could make it difficult for one party to deny if the other were to some day claim otherwise.
Amber E., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1424
Experience: Experienced practitioner in family law, including divorce, custody, and domestic violence cases.
Amber E. and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
< Last | Next >
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    8085
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney and Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    6424
    27+ years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6336
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5987
    I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5773
    JD, 15 years legal experience including family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BrianTMayer/2010-01-06_200119_BM.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Family Law Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    3810
    Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2634
    Attorney
 
 
 

Related Family Law Questions