In Texas, common law marriage gives you the same rights and responsibilities as formal, or ceremonial, marriage. Texas only allows the surviving spouse, children and parents of the decedent to recover wrongful death compensation for the loss of a loved one. This includes the common-law spouse, but you will need to prove that you had a common law marriage. An experienced Texas wrongful death attorney can help.
Declaration of Informal Marriage
Some common-law couples choose to file a document called a Declaration of Informal Marriage. If you and your spouse chose to document your marriage in this way, you can use you Declaration of Informal Marriage to as proof of the common-law marriage.
Common Law Marriage with No Declaration
You do not need a Declaration of Informal Marriage in order to establish valid common-law marriage. You must simply prove the following three elements:
- You and your spouse agreed to be married
- You lived together in the state of Texas
- You represented yourselves to others as married
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to lie together for a certain amount of time. However, you did have to live together in Texas. Living together in another state doesn’t count for Texas common-law marriage.
How a Texas Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
You will have to prove that you had a valid common-law marriage. An experienced Texas wrongful death lawyer knows what kind of evidence you need to support each of the three elements.
Please, do not wait until it is too late to file your claim. Contact an experienced Texas wrongful death attorney right away.