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Legally, Do I Need My Spouse’s Consent to Work?

Marriage is not just a union, but it is already a partnership. That means there is an obligation for each spouse not only to inform but to consult his partner with regards to his decisions. 

However, this remains to be an ideal situation. In reality, there are many marital problems that arise from a lack of communication between the two parties, whether they were intentional or simply due to plain neglect.

When a couple has a major disagreement, it could extend into a legal matter. It could even lead to divorce

Careers on the Line

When you get married you have to agree and compromise on certain things. It would be best if you have a plan for your family, if and when you will decide to start one. 

It is no longer a tradition that when a couple marries, they should have kids right away. You may choose to put it off when you are ready, not just financially, but also emotionally and physically.

You should probably be on the same page as your spouse on whether which one will pursue his/her own career, or if both of you will work at the same time. 

It should be noted that there is no legal provision that requires you to get consent from your spouse. The responsibilities require you to divulge your information and share your finances. It also requires you to inform your spouse of any financial decision. 

Spousal consent is required for any revision of financial claims and beneficiaries, loan agreements and mortgages. Basically, any financial transaction that concerns the family finances should be approved by the other spouse. 

However, there is no specific legal recourse to prevent your spouse from letting you work.

Settling the Dispute

If you look at the rights and responsibilities of married people, there is no specific citation regarding the spouses’ careers. This is something that you would have to settle among yourselves. 

While a decision to work will have financial repercussions or may even be driven by financial needs, it is not a legal matter per se. Your spouse could petition for a temporary restraining order, but that is usually reserved for threats and personal safety, so it would likely be rejected.

If this would become an unresolvable dispute, then you can file for a no-fault divorce. In this case, both you and your spouse would have to agree to separate. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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