UPDATED: February 20, 2013
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Texas marriage laws require couples to obtain a valid marriage license before tying the knot. Minors must obtain parental consent before the state of Texas will issue a marriage license. Texas is also one of the few states that recognize common law marriages. There are two options for establishing a common law marriage in Texas. The details on Texas marriage laws are provided below.
Texas Marriage Consent Laws
- With Parental Consent: 16 and 17 year-olds can marry in Texas, but only with parental consent. Minors younger than 16 must also obtain a judicial decree approving the marriage.
- Without Parental Consent: Adults 18 and older may marry in Texas without parental consent.
Texas Common Law Marriage
The state of Texas recognizes common law marriages. There are essentially two ways for a common law marriage to be created in Texas. The first is a simple declaration of marriage signed by the parties under oath. These declaration forms are available at any county clerk’s office. The more indirect way that a Texas common law marriage can be established is through the presence of three elements: (1) cohabitation, (2) an agreement between the parties to be married, and (3) holding themselves out to the public as husband and wife.
Texas Marriage License
- Residency: No residency requirement.
- Tests: None.
- Identification Required: Valid ID such as driver’s license, passport, or certified copy of birth certificate. Social security number is also required.
- Appearance/Proxy: Proxy marriages are allowed in Texas. Any adult can apply in place of an absent party. An affidavit of absence form is required, and this form must still be completed by the absent applicant.
- Previous Marriages: Individuals who have been divorced in the past 30 days must present a certified copy of the divorce decree.
- Length of License: 30 days from the time of issuance.
- Fees: Vary by county, but generally range between $30 and $70.
- Authorized Texas Officiants: Judges, justices of the peace, and any ordained ministers, priests, or rabbis.