However, there is no “common law divorce”. If the decision has been made by one or both parties to end the common law marriage, that couple must go through a formal divorce, just like any other married couple.
After a split-up, it is not uncommon for the parties to disagree on whether or not they actually were in a common law marriage. If the couple can’t agree, then a judge or a jury would have to make the decision as to whether or not the elements of common law marriage have been met.
If the fact finder (i.e., a judge or jury) determines a common law marriage exists, then the parties would proceed to divorce litigation. If it is found that no common law marriage existed, then the parties would just go their separate ways, and there is little protection in that event regarding splitting of assets, and certainly no protection in the family law courts, unless children are involved.
If children were born or adopted into a common law marriage, and the couple can’t agree on the custody and possession of those children, then the family court would determine the rights, duties, and possession schedule regarding the children. If the couple was married, formally or informally, then the issues regarding the child(ren) would be determined in a divorce proceeding. If no marriage existed at all but children are still involved, then the issues regarding the child(ren) would need to be resolved in family court through what is called a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship.
Issues regarding common law marriage and divorce are complicated, and one should consult a family law attorney in order to better understand the situation at hand.
Let an experienced, Southlake Divorce Lawyer help you through your divorce or family law matter.
The Justice Law Firm in Southlake, Texas is dedicated to helping individuals in Southlake and the surrounding areas with Divorce and Family Law issues. At the Justice Law Firm, you will find experienced and professional divorce attorneys.