San Antonio Divorce- Child Custody Lawyer Jason Cruz

Is Common Law Marriage Recognized In Texas?


Though Texas recognizes common-law marriage, it is a very complicated issue. Although the rules are fairly straightforward, each individual issue is different from another. If you believe you have a common-law marriage, then technically you could file for divorce, and may proceed like any other divorce.

However, because there is an element of proof that is required if you are claiming a common law marriage and if the other party is disputing it, then it’s not like a standard divorce. You have to establish the presumption that there is a common law marriage, and then the other party would have to put on evidence as to why there is not if they are contesting notion.

It is a threshold issue that has to be litigated prior to addressing any other of the issues regarding the marital estate or custody issues. It may sound like a straightforward issue because the rules are fairly clear-cut in how you establish that type of marriage but every case is different. Attorney Jason Cruz has talked to many different people regarding the issue of common-law marriage and he finds they are all very different. This is something that you absolutely have to speak with an attorney about and retain a competent attorney on if you’re going to pursue a divorce under a common-law marriage.

Are There Any Benefits To Filing For Divorce Before Your Spouse?

There can be a few reasons filing for divorce before your spouse is a benefit. The rule of thumb is the party that files first gets to go first in all of the proceedings. As the petitioner, you get to lead off your hearings on temporary orders. If the case goes to trial, you lead there as well. Essentially you get to set the stage, which is a very distinct advantage from the other party because they’re in a reactionary position throughout the course of the proceeding; whether it be temporary orders or whether it’s a trial. Therefore, there is a clear advantage from that perspective. In addition to that, the first to file usually gets to establish whatever the status quo is.

For instance, if you are a wife and you file the divorce first, you can put in a temporary restraining order that requires the children remain in their placement, which is usually with the mother. If the mother does this and the children remain where they are, that may put the husband in a disadvantage if he wants to fight for primary conservatorship because the status quo has been established that the children are residing with the mother. Again, this can work either way, but just for argument’s sake, assuming that the mother was to file first regarding custody, it may provide an advantage because by establishing a temporary restraining order and making status quo, the children aren’t supposed to be removed from where they are at. The party first to file may have a distinct advantage there.

Is Mediation Better Than The Court Process In A Divorce?

Mediation is typically a necessary evil because the alternative is having a contested trial on your case. When you do that the duration and cost of your matter will increase exponentially.

When you leave a matter up for a judge or a jury to decide, you have no control over the outcome of your proceeding. You may have control over your attorney and over what you’re able to put forth for the court to make a decision on, but it is up to the judge or jury’s to make a decision on the outcome of your case. That is the contrast to mediation.

When a couple is in mediation to resolve their divorce or their custody dispute, you can retain a greater amount of control over how the case looks at the end, or how your order looks like at the end of the case. Although it’s very unlikely for anyone to be 100% completely satisfied with a final order that’s been mediated, you are almost always going to be more satisfied than not with the outcome.

Given the savings both financially and emotionally and being able to exert some control over the outcome, Attorney Jason Cruz always tries to resolve a case for his clients outside of court. He knows that it’s always better to try and retain some control over a potential outcome.

For more information on Common Law Marriage, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (210) 524-7798 today.

Jason Cruz

Get your questions answered - Call for a free consultation (210) 524-7798.

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