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So what would it take to show and Informal Marriage

On September 24, 2018

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Here’s an amazing case out of Amarillo.  As background, the Family Code allows for a Court to find that parties have entered into an informal marriage, frequently referred to as common law marriage, if a party shows among other requirements that there was an agreement to be married.  (Texas Family Code 2.401).

In Pedron v. Harvery, No. 07-17-00394, the alleged wife brought evidence that the alleged husband had proposed to her, given her a ring, and filed seven years of tax returns stating they were married.  The trial court found that the parties were not married.  As an editorial aside, this would normally be more than enough evidence to convince a Court that an informal marriage existed.
The Amarillo Court of Appeals, however, upheld the decision finding that the trial court had not abused it’s discretion.  The takeaway from the case is an appellate court will not re-judge evidence and an enormous of amount of deferrence is given to trial courts.

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