How do i get started?

Aug 8, 2012 by


I am 19 with 2 children I want to divorce the father of my children the sheriff said that i had to do it if i want him to not break any more of my things but that i couldnt file for my broken things already since we were married by common law cause we lived on and off for 3 years even though we never signed papers and i would love to have more custody on my children because of the fact that he doesnt want them around i have recorded saying that and then he also threaten to kill my boyfriend that im with now we used to fist fight i stopped and he only did it when he was really drunk for no reason he talks about sucide and i his family came to our aparments when we were together and fought me while i was 3 months pregnant and they new i did do a report on that



Texas recognizes common law marriage, also known as informal marriage. In order to prove that a common law marriage existed, you and your ex must be able to show three things. First, you and your ex must have agreed to be married. Second, you and your ex must have lived together in the state of Texas as husband and wife. Third, you and your ex must have publicly represented yourselves as married (example: if you have introduced yourselves as husband and wife, filed a joint tax return, or used the same last name).

If any of these three requirements have not been met, neither you nor your ex will be able to legally establish a common law marriage occurred. So, if you can prove that you never intended to be married to your ex or that you never acted like you were married (called him your husband, filed a joint tax return, used his last name) then you do not need a divorce. If you and your ex did agree to be married (even if you never formally married) and represented yourselves to others as a married couple, then it is possible that your ex can prove he has a common law marriage with you.

However, the age of consent in Texas is 18. Since you are 19 now, it is safe to assume that you would have entered into this potential informal marriage prior to the age of consent. Under Texas law, a person under 18 years cannot be party to an informal marriage. Thus, it is likely that you did not have a common law marriage and do not need to divorce your ex. In regards to your children, custody of children born to unmarried parents is usually given to the mother. However, your ex does have certain rights and duties if he is the established father of your children (such as if his name is on their birth certificate or if he has signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity).

If he is the established father, he will have rights to custody and visitation and a duty to provide child support. If the two of you are able to agree on custody and visitation, a court will not need to be involved. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement, then the court will decide these issues. In making its decision, the court will determine what is in the best interests of your children and may take into account the violence as a factor.

The Team

Wendy Jaffe and can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.



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