February is the big month for love, wedding proposals and of course weddings. But some people don't want all the hoopla around a wedding or the cost. Do you really even need a marriage license in Arkansas? What about Texas? Turns out it's almost creepy how easy you could be married and not even realize it.

It's called a common-law marriage.  You might be surprised especially if you live in Texas just how easy the process is. Not so much in Arkansas and that might be a good thing.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash
Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash
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Marriage without a license is considered a Common-Law Marriage. For there to be a Common-Law Marriage in Texas, there are a few things that must happen for the State of Texas to recognize the union as a legal marriage.

Three Things That Must Happen for A Common-Law Marriage in Texas

Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash
Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash
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  • Agree to be married.
  • Live in the state of Texas.
  • Represent themselves to others as husband and wife in Texas.

So in Texas, no you don't need a marriage license to be married. It's that easy.

Here's Where a Common Law Marriage Gets Tricky

This type of union can get tricky if you don't have an actual date of marriage from a legal piece of paper and you decide to separate. You will still need to get a formal divorce. All that separating of stuff could get very squirrely very quickly if you don't have an official start date to separate your assets.  You can find out more at findlaw.com

What Are The Common Law Rules Arkansas?

Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash
Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash
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It's not so easy in the Natural State. Arkansas does not recognize common-law marriages and never has! So in Arkansas, you will need to get a marriage license.

There is a Way for The State of Arkansas to Acknowledge Common-Law Marriage

But, there are a couple of ways for the State of Arkansas to recognize common-law marriage. According to  marrigelaws.com

“All marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by the laws of the state or country in which the marriage was consummated and in which the parties then actually resided shall be valid in all the courts in this state.”

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash
Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash
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So if you had a common-law marriage in Texas or Oklahoma then the state of Arkansas would recognize it as an official and legal marriage. But then you could still run into the headache of separating your assets if you do divorce like in Texas.

 

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