You may have questions regarding how many times you can get married in Texas if you are considering marriage for the first time or recently divorced and planning to remarry.
Basically, there are no restrictions on how many times you can marry in Texas. According to data, around 6% of Texas residents have been married at least three times.
However, other forms of marriage limits exist in Texas, such as the age at which you can legally marry, the number of persons you can marry at once, and the period between weddings.
Beyond finding out how many times you can get married, let’s take a deeper look at some frequent marital concerns in Texas, especially if you are going through a divorce or plan to remarry.
What is the Legal Definition of Marriage?
Marriage is defined as a legally acknowledged union between two individuals. It is a contract between two people who are not bound by any laws, regulations, or hurdles. Both partners must be of sound mind and capable of making a commitment in order to marry. However, there are various legal distinctions in the definition of marriage, thus it’s essential to consult a lawyer before being married.
Marriage is a social compact between two persons, according to the United States Constitution. Both parties perceive it as a legal partnership with certain rights and obligations for each. Without a valid basis, the state cannot prevent a marriage.
Is There an Age Limit for Marriage in Texas?
Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to marry in Texas. They can, however, marry freely if they are 18 years old or older.
This legislation protects minors against forced marriage by requiring them to be completely mature before marrying.
However, there are certain exceptions to this general norm. A minor under the age of 14 can marry with his or her parents’ permission in Texas. In this scenario, consent must be given within 30 days of the minor’s marriage license application.
In simple terms, if you are under the age of 18, you may need parental permission to marry. It also implies that you can still apply for a marriage license in Texas if you are a minor.
Before you can marry, the state demands that you have been emancipated. In Texas, you must be at least eighteen years old to marry, and you cannot marry someone under that age.
Texas Marital Restriction Laws to Be Aware Of
Since there are no limitations on the number of times you can marry in Texas, let’s look at some of the other limitations that may apply to you.
The Marriage Age
As earlier mentioned, to consent to marriage, a person must be 18 years old, according to the Texas Family Code. Minors can marry with the permission of a parent or legal guardian, and a court can also allow a petition for an underage individual to marry.
Several minors have unfortunately been forced into marriage against their will. In fact, Texas is one of the top states in the country for “child brides.”
That’s why the Texas legislature just passed a bill making it illegal for anybody under the age of 16 to marry. The bill also made it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to marry without a judge’s permission.
Number of Weddings
In Texas, a person is only allowed to enter into one legally recognized marriage at a time. This includes marriages that began in another state in the United States.
There are numerous instances where a person attempts to marry someone else in Texas while legally married to someone else in another state. This union will not be recognized in Texas. In Texas, a person must dissolve their previous marriage before entering into a new one.
You do not, however, have to be a Texas resident to marry in the state. Also while it is true that you must be a Texas resident to finalize a divorce, you do not need to live in Texas to acquire a marriage certificate.
Number of Married Couples
Only two unmarried people are allowed to marry under the Texas Family Code. As previously indicated, you cannot be married and then enter into a separate marriage (e.g., bigamy). Additionally, you cannot have many spouses in the same marriage (e.g., polygamy).
Bigamy is, in fact, a criminal violation in the state of Texas. The offense is classified under Texas law into several categories:
- While already married, a person commences the act of marrying someone else.
- While already married to someone else, a person misrepresents a living arrangement as a marriage.
- A person goes into a marriage connection with another person knowing that they are already married.
Number of Years Between Marriages
There is also a time limit between the conclusion of one marriage and the beginning of another. You can get married and divorced an infinite number of times, but you can’t marry the same person twice in a row.
Texas imposes a 30-day waiting period between the end of a divorce and the start of a new marriage. For example, if one spouse files for divorce from their prior marriage, that individual must wait 30 days before legally remarrying.
The new marriage could be ruled null and void if a spouse does not wait 30 days. If one of the parties was “divorced from a third party within the 30-day period preceding the day of the marriage ceremony,” a Texas court could order an annulment of the marriage.
Is Common Law Marriage Legal in Texas?
In Texas, informal weddings, also known as common-law marriages, are legal as long as certain conditions are met. These include proving that both parties consent to be married, that both parties agree to live as a married couple in Texas, and that both parties identify themselves as a married couple to others. You can make an informal marriage official by signing and filing a Declaration of Informal Marriage with the court clerk.
What Are the Conditions That Make a Marriage Illegal?
There are a few circumstances in Texas that might make marriage illegal. For starters, you can’t legally marry more than one person at the same time. Multiple weddings are illegal under Texas law, whether you want to marry more than one spouse in Texas, another state in the US, or even another nation. Before you can legally marry again, you must first acquire a divorce.
Second, you are not permitted to marry anyone under the age of eighteen. If the underage person you wish to marry presents legal proof of a court-ordered document erasing the “disabilities of minority of the party for general purposes,” this regulation does not apply. The marriage would be declared null and void without this document from a Texas court (or another state’s court).
Texas Divorce and Common Law Marriage
If you have any issues concerning common law marriage in Texas, you should see an expert family lawyer. Despite the fact that common-law marriages are illegal in Texas, some couples opt to marry anyhow. The process is comparable to formal marriage, albeit state rules differ slightly.
- Both partners in Texas must be at least 18 years old and must not be married. Neither partner should be legally barred from marrying someone else.
- A common law marriage in Texas is not as difficult to establish as a civil marriage. Only that both parties have lived together and been legally represented as husband and wife is essential.
These two requirements can be accomplished without the need for a marriage license. They must also have been living together for at least a year.
While a common law marriage can be formalized in Texas by filing a statement or registration of informal marital status, determining an official date might be difficult.
If you are married, you should know that common-law marriages are recognized in Texas. Despite the lack of a legal marriage, a spouse may be awarded rights as a member of the community of property in specific cases. However, this is not the situation in Texas, so it’s crucial to understand the guidelines if you’re considering divorce.
Remember that if the state of Texas does not recognize your marriage, getting a divorce may be difficult.
Is Bigamy a Violation of Texas Law?
The answer to this question is contingent on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Bigamy convictions in Texas are considered Felonies of the Third Degree, which means you might face up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It’s not always easy to tell if you’re guilty of bigamy, but the answer is almost always yes.
Meanwhile, spiritual marriage is legal because it comprises an agreement to marry but no representation to others. While both couples must attend a religious ceremony, they are not permitted to represent the marriage to others. A person cannot be prosecuted with bigamy in Texas in such circumstances. A “spiritual” marriage without representation is not deemed a common law marriage in Texas, despite the fact that the state’s bigamy statute requires three elements to be present at the same time.
You must be informed of your rights if you are charged with bigamy in Texas. You could face a lengthy prison sentence depending on the circumstances. As a result, it is critical to get legal counsel from a Texas criminal defense attorney. And because bigamy allegations are serious, you should hire an expert lawyer to represent you in court. Your defense will be more effective if your legal defense attorney has more experience.
How Much Does A Texas Marriage License Cost?
To obtain a marriage license, couples must appear before the county clerk in the county of their choice.
However, you must wait 72 hours after receiving your license before getting married legally.
So, what does a marriage license in Texas cost? The price ranges from $60 to $85. The fee for out-of-state residents may be increased by $100.
Couples who take the time to attend the premarital counseling class may be eligible for a $60 discount on their marriage license fee.
A marriage license in Texas expires if the recipient does not marry within 90 days of receiving the license. You must apply for a new license when your current one expires.
Note: The cost of a marriage license in Texas varies from county to county. Take that into consideration.
What is a Texas Ceremonial Marriage?
This is the most common type of marriage in Texas. It meets the state’s statutory requirement for issuing a marriage license, as stated in the Family Code.
If you’re 18 years old or older and want to marry in a religious ceremony, you must first obtain a marriage license.
To obtain a marriage license, you must appear before the county clerk in any county of your choice.
We also indicated before that people under the age of 18 are allowed to marry in Texas, albeit there are some restrictions.
Here are the items you must give to the county clerk.
- A valid identification card.
- Age verification
- Your entire marriage license application.
- You must be willing to swear an oath.
- Before the county clerk, you must sign your application form.
Helpful Tip: Texas does not give marriage licenses to those marrying relatives. You also can't marry someone who is lawfully married to someone else or has been divorced for less than 30 days. In the same vein, if you signed your divorce papers less than 30 days ago, you cannot marry someone else.