Marriage is a union between two individuals, though it is a legal one.
But then, in Texas, there are certain things a legally married person would do that the law considers a punishable offense.
So, it is essential for people planning to get married in Texas to learn about the laws governing marriages in the state.
Now, here’s one of the first questions you may want to ask.
How many times can you get married in Texas?
Not only in Texas but in all 50 states, you can marry as many times as you want. But there’s a catch. It is one man to one wife and vice versa.
Let’s put this in simple terms: It is against the law to have two or more partners (wives or husbands) in Texas.
If you are legally married but want to marry someone else, you have to divorce your first marriage. You cannot leave your partner and marry someone else until the divorce papers have been signed.
It is bigamy when someone that got married in Texas moved to another state and marries another person. Since the first marriage is still on, the ones after are invalid.
So, you can get married as many times as you desire. But you can only have one wife or husband at a time. That is how it is in Texas and other states.
Polygamy and bigamy may be legal in other countries, but not in the United States of America.
You’ll learn more about marriage in Texas to make an informed decision. So, keep reading!
What Is The Legal Age To Get Married In Texas?
In Texas, the legal age to get married is 18. But that doesn’t mean minors (individuals below 18) cannot get married.
If you’re below 18, there are requirements you must meet before obtaining a marriage license.
What are those requirements? You have to provide consent from parents, legal guardians or a court order, which must be from a court in Texas.
You can also seek professional guidance from an attorney if you’re below 18 years, as the process can be hectic. An attorney can help make things easier.
How Much Does Marriage License In Texas Cost?
Couples must appear before the county clerk and in any county of choice to obtain their marriage license.
But bear in mind that you must wait 72 hours before getting married officially after getting your license.
So, how much does a marriage license cost in Texas? The current cost is $60 to $85. Out-of-state residents may have $100 added to whatever the fee is.
But then, couples that took time to attend the premarital counseling class may have $60 taken off the marriage license fee.
Again, a marriage license in Texas expires if the recipient doesn’t get married before the 90th day the license was issued. Once the license expires, you have to apply to obtain another license.
A Handy Tip: In Texas, the cost of a marriage license varies from one county to another. Keep that in mind.
What Is Ceremonial Marriage In Texas?
This type of marriage is the most popular in Texas. It complies with the state’s statutory requirement stated in the Family Code to issue a marriage license.
So, if you’re 18 years or above and wish to enter into a ceremonial marriage, you first and foremost have to obtain a marriage license.
You have to appear before the county clerk and in any county of your choice to apply for your marriage license.
We also mentioned earlier that people below 18 years could get married in Texas, though there are special requirements for that to happen.
Here are the things the county clerk requires you to present.
- A valid ID.
- Proof of age.
- Your complete marriage license form.
- You must be ready to take an oath.
- You have to sign your application form before the county clerk.
A Handy Tip: Texas doesn’t issue marriage licenses to individuals marrying their relatives. You also cannot get a license to marry someone legally married to another person or who has been divorced for less than 30 days.
In the same vein, you cannot get married to another person if you have only signed your divorce papers in less than 30 days.
What Is Common Law Marriage In Texas?
This type of marriage is common only in Texas. Other states that recognize it are Montana, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, Utah, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island. But common law marriage it’s not as popular as a ceremonial marriage.
Common-law marriage is also called informal marriage or a marriage without ceremony. Couples don’t also require a marriage license in this type of marriage.
The court can prove two couples have entered into a common-law marriage if the following happens.
- When both parties have signed their marriage declaration.
- When both parties consented to their marriage and lived together as man and wife in Texas.
- When both couples make others believe they are married, by the way, they act together.
Is Bigamy Considered Legal In Texas?
Bigamy is another form of polygamy, and it involves a situation where an individual (a woman or man) has multiple partners.
For instance, a person legally married to someone decides to marry someone else without divorcing the first legally married partner. And both the former and newly married partners don’t know the person they’re marrying is lawfully married to two people simultaneously.
It doesn’t matter if one of the partners was married in Texas while the other was in a different state or country. What matters is that the person was legally married to someone elsewhere before the new marriage took place.
In the United States of America, it’s a crime to have multiple partners.
So, if a man or woman has two or more legally married spouses (bigamy), the first remains the legally married wife or husband. Since the person is lawfully married before taking another partner, the second marriage is invalid before the court.
A Handy Tip: Bigamy differs from polygamy in that polygamous people usually marry more than one wife, but all the wives know themselves.
In a polygamous marriage, the man’s wives usually know when he got married to the other wives. And they could even be living under the same roof.
In bigamy, the individual may marry someone in Texas, Michigan, Washington DC, and other states. But none of the wives will know the man is legally married to multiple partners.
However, one similarity between polygamy and bigamy have is that both involve getting married to multiple partners.
Is Bigamy A Punishable Offense In Texas?
Yes, bigamy is a crime in Texas and other states. It is regarded as a felony offense, and it carries a lengthy jail term or a fine.
Offenders could face criminal fraud charges if the reason behind the bigamous relationship is to secure the innocent spouse’s asset or property.
Can You Get Married In Texas If Married Outside The United States?
No, you can’t get married in Texas if you’re still legally married elsewhere. It doesn’t matter whether the marriage took place in the United States or not.
The United States considers marriages in other countries legal. So, if you’re still legally married in a different country and get married after moving to the United States, you have committed a crime.
Such an act is regarded as bigamy, and it is a criminal offense in this country.
So, how many times can you get married in Texas? You can get married as many times as you want. But keep in mind that you can only get married to one person at a time.
Having more than one partner (wife or husband) is called bigamy, a criminal offense in Texas and other states. It is not bigamy if you have signed the divorce papers or if the marriage has been nullified.
However, you can’t get married to another person or be married in Texas if the period you signed your divorce papers is less than 30 days.