Common law marriage, also known as marriage without formalities or informal marriage, is a valid and legal way for a couple to marry in Texas. Texas law states that a common law marriage may be proved by evidence that the couple:
See the resources below to learn more about common law marriage in Texas.
For those who are currently incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and have not declared their common law marriage with the county clerk, both the incarcerated person and the common-law spouse may submit to the warden an Affidavit of Informal Marriage form declaring the marriage. The incarcerated person may file an unsworn affidavit while the spouse must have their affidavit certified by a notary.
See the TDCJ Visitation policy below for more information on proving a common law marriage for contact visits.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice does not have a sample affidavit available online. We recommend contacting the inmate's unit for more information on filing this affidavit.
These e-books contain information on issues related to common law marriage. These e-books can be viewed by those who have signed up for a free library account with the State Law Library. Only Texas residents are eligible to sign up. Signing up is free.