Marriage and Divorce FAQ


Marriage and Divorce FAQ

Click here for the Texas Family Code


How do I get a certified copy of a marriage license or divorce decree?

You must contact the relevant County Clerk’s office for marriage or the District Clerk’s office for divorceClick here for a link to a list of County Clerk addresses and phone numbers.

The Vital Statistics Unit can only provide a verification that a marriage or divorce has occurred. Click here for instructions on ordering a marriage or divorce verification.

How Do I Get A Marriage License?

Marriage licenses are issued and filed at the county level, and marriage registration is primarily a county level function. A couple who intends to be married in Texas must apply in person for a marriage license at a Texas County Clerk’s Office. The application for a license must be signed by both the bride and groom in the presence of the a county clerk. If this is not possible, any adult or the other applicant may apply on behalf of the absent applicant. (Certain terms must be met. Contact your County Clerk for details) Applications must be filled out and Social Security Numbers and Proof of Age and Identity must be shown. (See Texas Family Code 2.005 for what can be used for proof of identity and age) . The fee for a purchasing a marriage license is $60. Other county record’s fees may apply in addition to this fee.

How Long Must I Wait Between The Time I Get My License And The Actual Ceremony?

There must be at least 72 hours between the date and time of issuance of a license and the time the ceremony occurs unless one applicant is on active duty in the armed forces, or a waiver is granted. (See County Clerk for more details) If a marriage ceremony has not been conducted before the 31st day after the date the license is issued, the marriage license expires. [Family Code § 2.201]

Does the marriage ceremony have to take place in Texas?

There are no references in the state laws in regards to where the marriage ceremony has to take place. Once a marriage license is filed it is a presumed valid marriage [Family Code § 1.101]

What If I Am Under The Age Of 18, Can I Still Get Married?

If you are 16-17 years of age, you can only marry if one of the following criteria is met:

  • You have parental consent. Parental Consent must be evidenced by a written declaration on a form provided by the County Clerk. A county clerk may accept the form of another Texas County Clerk or from an official authorized to issue marriage licenses in another state. (Contact County Clerk for more details) [Family Code § 2.102]
  • You have been previously legally married, and the applicant provides a certified copy of the divorce decree. [Family Code § 2.101]
  • You obtain an order from the Texas district court where the parent resides. [Family Code § 2.103]

Can I Get Married If My Divorce Has Just Been Finalized?

When applying for a marriage license, each applicant must indicate that he or she has not been divorced within the last 30 days, unless the applicants were divorced from each other, or the prohibition against remarriage was waived under Section 6.802 of the Family Code.

Can Same Sex Marriages Be Issued A Marriage License?

Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. [Texas Constitution Art. 1 § 32]

Does Texas Recognize “Common Law” marriage?

Common-law marriage, also known as “informal marriage” is legal in Texas. A couple may choose whether or not to register their informal marriage. If they do choose to register, both the husband and wife must appear before the County Clerk to file a Declaration of Informal Marriage. The couple must list the date on the declaration from which they have considered themselves married. In other words, a couple can be married for some period of time before registering their informal marriage.

There are two ways a couple may prove that they are informally married:

  1. They can file a Declaration of Informal Marriage (available from the County Clerk’s office) or
  2. They meet all of the following conditions:
    • the couple agrees that they are married;
    • they live together in Texas; and
    • They represent themselves to other individuals that they are married to one another [Family Code § 2.401]

Who do I contact with other questions regarding marriages and divorces?

If you have questions concerning the marriage registration process or if you need a copy of a marriage or divorce decree, you must contact a County Clerk’s office for marriage information or a District Clerk’s office for divorce decrees. Click here for a link to a list of County Clerk addresses and phone numbers.

Marriage and Divorce Resources