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Same-sex Marriage in Texas


In 2015, the US Supreme Court declared same-sex marriages as legal in every US State. So, yes, you can get married with someone of the same sex. You can start a family and you are also entitled to divorce should it not work out.

How to get married in Texas?

First, you have to secure a marriage license from the county clerk’s office. You will be asked to complete a sworn application showing that you and your partner have the legal capacity to marry. If one or both of you are under 18 years of age, parental consent or court order is required. Each of the contracting party must not have any legal impediment that will disqualify him or her to get married such as the existence of a subsisting marriage, if the parties who wish to marry are relatives within the fourth degree (first cousins or closer), and other disqualifications enumerated by law. Ask a lawyer to find out if you have any of these disqualifications so as not to waste time and effort.

Usually, you have to wait for 3 days to get the said license which is valid within 31 days from the date of issue. If you do not get married within this period of time, you will have to apply for a marriage license again. You cannot get married if the marriage license has already expired. Marriages need to be solemnized and a member of the judiciary or any authorized religious minister can officiate weddings. You will have to present the marriage license issued to you by the county clerk before a wedding can take place.

If you decide to get married outside of Texas, the state of Texas will still recognize your marriage.

Can same-sex couples enter into a Common-Law Marriage?

Definitely! Texas is one of the few states that recognizes common-law marriages. Once there is evidence that a couple cohabited together as a married couple and their relationship is not a secret because they represented themselves as a married couple to others, they are “married”.

However, you have to consult your lawyer because it’s still a case to case basis. There are times when you are not aware that you are disqualified or you have a legal impediment to be considered as a married couple in Texas.

Should you decide to move to another state which does not recognize common-law marriages, there is a possibility that you will not be recognized as a married couple. Again, many factors are at play so it is best to seek a family law attorney.

What if you don’t want to get married but you want to have a long-term relationship with clear rights and responsibilities?

Then you can enter into a domestic partnership agreement. You can file this in the registry of domestic partnerships. You and your partner can then create an agreement that outlines your property relations and other rights and responsibilities in the relationship. It is not marriage, though. It is just a partnership agreement that each party must comply with.

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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.

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