Do I need a divorce decree for my common law marriage?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I need a divorce decree for my common law marriage?

Years ago I entered into a common law marriage with the Department of Veteran Affairs. It finally went through the process and got approved but not until I was already broken up with her. I tried to remove her from my VA claim and they said they need a divorce decree first. The county clerk office does not have a marriage certificate on file for me. Do I need this divorce?

Asked on October 2, 2016 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do need a divorce. A common law marriage may be formed or established differently than a more traditional marriage (i.e. without a marriage license), but it *is* a marriage, and a marriage must be dissolved by divorce: otherwise,until and unless you divorce, you will be considered married for all purposes, including a VA claim.

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