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I just received divorce papers from spouse who resides in Katy, Texas and I live in Connecticut.  Spouse and I entered into an informal marriage at the Harris County clerk's office in 2010.  Spouse had moved to Connecticut in November of 2012 and moved back to Katy, TX in  April 2013.  Since then, spouse and I have been separated (not legally).  The divorce papers state that there is to be no contact with spouse or child and that I have to appear in Texas at court in December.  My question is:  do I have to show or can I submit something in writing, especially since I cannot make it to Texas.  I would prefer to handle the issues of divorce through an attorney in Connecticut instead of Texas.  Is this way best? 

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Hi @talyria

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! The first issue to sort out is that you mean by "informal marriage." A marriage ceremony in the clerk's office is just as valid and binding as a wedding in a church or elsewhere. Before proceeding, you may want to review the legal requirements of marriage.

 

Working on the assumption that the marriage was valid, either party can file for divorce in the county where he or she resides. If this is inconvenient for you, you may be able to file a motion to transfer the case to Connecticut. Doing so many be somewhat complex, so you may want to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your case.

 

For a free consultation with an attorney, you can click here, or use the FindLaw Lawyer Directory to search by city and state.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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2 hours ago, talyria said:

I just received divorce papers from spouse. . . .  The divorce papers state that there is to be no contact with spouse or child and that I have to appear in Texas at court in December.

 

In the context of any given divorce case, there may be hundreds or thousands of "papers."  What "papers" did you receive?  Is the "paper" that states "that [you] have to appear in Texas at court in December" a court order?  Or is it simply a notice that some sort of hearing will be held in December?  If the latter, what is the nature of the hearing?

 

 

2 hours ago, talyria said:

do I have to show or can I submit something in writing, especially since I cannot make it to Texas.

 

Again, it depends on what's happening in December and whether the court has ordered you to appear.

 

 

2 hours ago, talyria said:

I would prefer to handle the issues of divorce through an attorney in Connecticut instead of Texas.  Is this way best?

 

If your divorce is pending in TX, then you'll need an attorney in TX.  A lawyer in CT could give you generalized input, but unless you stumble on someone in CT that happens to be admitted to practice in TX, he/she won't be able to represent you in the TX divorce or advise you about TX law.

 

 

1 hour ago, FindLaw_RE said:

The first issue to sort out is that you mean by "informal marriage."

 

"Informal marriage" is the term used in TX for a common law marriage.  See Tex. Fam. Code § 2.401, et seq.

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1 hour ago, pg1067 said:

"Informal marriage" is the term used in TX for a common law marriage.  See Tex. Fam. Code § 2.401, et seq.

 

Interesting! Didn't know that! But would this be the sort of situation which would be considered a common law marriage if the parties were married at the clerk's office?

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11 minutes ago, FindLaw_RE said:
1 hour ago, pg1067 said:

"Informal marriage" is the term used in TX for a common law marriage.  See Tex. Fam. Code § 2.401, et seq.

 

would this be the sort of situation which would be considered a common law marriage if the parties were married at the clerk's office?

 

The Texas Family Code section I cited provides that an "informal marriage" may be proven by evidence either that a declaration of their marriage has been signed as provided in the subchapter governing informal marriages or that "the man and woman agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife and there represented to others that they were married."  In other words, in addition to the "old fashioned way," there is a slightly less "informal" means of entering into a common law/"informal" marriage in Texas.

 

Given that legal framework, the most reasonable interpretation of the OP's statement that he/she and his/her spouse "entered into an informal marriage at the Harris County clerk's office in 2010" is probably that they signed and submitted the informal marriage declaration in 2010.

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Just now, pg1067 said:

Given that legal framework, the most reasonable interpretation of the OP's statement that he/she and his/her spouse "entered into an informal marriage at the Harris County clerk's office in 2010" is probably that they signed and submitted the informal marriage declaration in 2010.

 

Makes sense! Thanks for your input, you are clearly well versed in this area of the law. :)

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