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Texas Common Law Marriage And Filing Taxes After Split

What is Common Law Marriage?

common law marriage is when two people live together, and after a certain amount of time (it varies in Canada and the US and from province to province, state to state), the government and law sees the two people as "married" even though they haven't had an actual wedding ceremony or done any of the legalities.

What is the point of Common Law Marriage?

It does not matter when you are together. A couple who does this doesn't really want to marry but probably is very committed to each other and find it easier to represent themselves to others as husband and wife, or generally wants the benefits of marriage without the actual ceremony.

The only time it really matters is if they split up and one of them wants the common law marriage recognized as legal so they can divorce and share in the assets (and debts) the couple has at the time they separate. Instead of just filing for divorce, one of them must prove there was a "marriage" and if the judge agrees then they can get a divorce. Usually it would be the person who has more to gain who wants the divorce (as in the house is in the other persons name so they have no claim to the equity unless they can prove it was purchased during the "marriage").

It could also be important if someone's common law spouse is ill and they want to be able to make medical decisions for them, or if their common law spouse dies and they want to inherit from their estate (and there is no will).

We never filed our marriage license in Texas. Is the marriage valid?

Funny you should ask that question. The identical (or nearly so) facts happened some years ago -- although they won't help you -- with respect to a couple who got their marriage license in Bowie County Texas but were married in Miller County Arkansas, across the street in Texarkana!

The Arkansas Supreme Court held that the marriage was valid. I don't think the reasoning works for Texas. But, Texas recognizes COMMON LAW MARRIAGE. You certainly held yourselves out as married, and had a child. Therefore you need a divorce. (I am assuming that you were legally domiciled in Texas.) Your child is legitimate. Your property is subject to community property rules.

As for the registration of the license. The general rule is that the innocent parties -- usually one spouse, and the children -- are protected from the mistake or misrepresentation or wrongful act of the other spouse. But it seems to me (and I am not licensed in Texas to practice law) that the common law marriage rule makes all the rest irrelevant.

It always amuses -- and dismays -- me when non-lawyers opine about questions like this on Y! Q/A. Most of the answers are wrong; a few are right for the wrong reason. One correctly refers you to common-law marriage rules. But there is a separate issue that would have applied even if common-law marriage didn't exist: the issue of whether failure to file the registration document nullifies the marriage. That depends on state law; but in most states the officiant has to send in the document, and the couple can't (or shouldn't) be held liable for the failure of the officiant to do so through no fault of their own.

As you will see from Husband v. Pierce, Texas law is rather forgiving about technical errors in registering marriages. It seems to me that even without relying on common-law marriage, the marriage is valid. And that as in other states, the officiant is the one who is supposed to mail the license back to the County Clerk for recordation (although delegating that to another, including the married couple, is not clearly a violation of duty).

How do you split your income for a part year marriage in California to file (Federal and CA) income tax separately?

HiI would highly recommend working with your CPA and your CPA can consult your attorney as needed. This will help avoid unnecessary costs in corrections and amendments later on.Also, the full facts are not presented and also its unclear why court has ordered only married filing separately? Either ways I think your divorce settlement agreement will need to be reviewed in detail to ensure correct procedures are followed.In your situation, as you were specifically asked to file married filing separately, you will pay taxes on the income and deductions for yourself. Your share of income and tax withheld will be whatever is on your W2 including federal and state taxes withheld.Below are the few tax rules which I would like to mention.( Married filing jointly may not apply to you as you mentioned you have special instructions from the court)In most cases, married filing jointly results in lower taxes as compared to married filing separately. In order to file MFJ you need to be married as of 12/31 of the financial year and your spouse should consent/agree to file jointly.**Disclaimer**Lonestar CPA GroupPlease note that any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication cannot be considered a thorough analysis of specific issues, nor is this a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties. We are pleased to perform the requisite research and provide you with a detailed written analysis. Such an engagement may be completed as part of a separate engagement letter that would define the limits and scope of desired consultation services. We do not provide legal consultation. Please contact a business law attorney for legal advice

Common law and drinking?

I dont care if you are married she cannot drink legally. Common law is 7 years by the way. Marry her .

If a couple gets married before their wedding for tax reasons, is it normal consider their anniversary the legal marriage day or the wedding celebration day?

My husband and I made a pact that we will watch video of our Wedding on every anniversary of us.Anniversary to me is when - when my husband would say - “Remember, 5 years ago on this day, I was placing wedding ring on your finger. You were looking stunningly gorgeous.”I would say Wedding date should be celebrated as anniversary not the legal Marriage date.There is reason behind that - first of all why we celebrate anniversary. To remember and recall all the beautiful moments those were spent together with family n friends, Right?Its the day when wife was wearing the white gown and and husband took his hand and kissed her.All family n friends also know the date of wedding ceremony not the legal paper signed date. They are going to wish you on Wedding date only.When couple just signed the papers just for taxes, they didnt have any good memories for that day.So keep the legal Marriage date for legal things only e.g. filing for Visa, or taxes.But cebratate the anniversary when you actually took the Wedding vows.

How does common law marriage work? How can you be legally married if you never agreed to marriage? Do you have to divorce if you break up?

“How does common-law marriage work? How can you be legally married if you never agreed to marriage? Do you have to divorce if you break up?”Your Quora bio indicates that you live in Texas and I will frame my answer with that thought in mind. It is important to indicate at the outset that this answer is not correct for the approximately 7.5 billion people on Planet Earth who live in places where common-law marriage is not recognized. But you happen to live in one of the very few jurisdictions on the planet where it is possible for two people to enter into a legal marriage without going through the usual legal formalities, so we will proceed.(1) “How does common-law marriage work?”The elements of a common-law marriage in Texas are:Both parties have to agree to be married;They have to live together as husband and wife; andThey have to hold themselves out to the community as being a married couple.Once a common-law marriage has been established, it is a “legal” marriage in every way.(2) “How can you be legally married if you never agreed to marriage?”You can’t. Intending to get married is a necessary element of a common-law marriage.For as long as I can remember, there have been rumors going around to the effect that if you shack up with someone for a minimum period of time, usually seven years, you automatically become married to them. Rumors like this exist even in states where common-law marriage is not recognized at all. They’re completely bogus.(3) “Do you have to divorce if you break up?”Yes. There is no such thing as a common-law divorce.Because a common-law marriage is a “real” legal marriage in every way, the only way to end one is by going through a formal divorce proceeding.

Will changing tax filing status trigger an audit?

If you are married and can't find him to file jointly you will need to file married filing separately. Divorce him so you can file as single or head of household next time.

Can my common law husband act as if we were never common law married and just marry someone else?

Most states in the U.S. don’t recognize common law marriage at all. Of those that do, many only recognize relationships that began years ago, like in the 1990’s. To find out, search for, “Does [my state] recognize common law marriage?”If you live in a state that does recognize common law marriage, it requires more than just living together. You have to tell people you’re married, call each other husband and wife, file joint tax returns, etc.If you did all that, then you could seek out a lawyer and try to enforce the marriage. (I.e., get your husband to divorce you and agree on a property settlement before marrying another.