Brandon Young Bell

Contact Brandon Young Bell for a Consultation
Phone: (972) 668-1462
For Inquires Call To Schedule an Appointment

Address: 38 1st Street NW, Paris, Texas 75460


Couples typically get married for emotional and symbolic reasons. Often, the legal consequences of marriage are not fully contemplated until after marriage or at the termination of marriage (termination can occur with either divorce or the death of a spouse). These "legal consequences" include but are not limited to inheritance issues, rights or benefits associated with pensions or retirement, status for emergency medical decisions, joint parenting considerations, immigration issues, and many state and federal taxation matters. Also, any person (regardless of age) who has been married has the legal capacity to enter into a contract. The most common legal issues dealt with by family law attorneys relate to parenting and property.

Entry into matrimony:

A man and woman who wish to be married should obtain a marriage license, which is valid for 30 days. Although ceremonial marriages and what is commonly known as a common law marriage are valid, certain legal complications associated with proof of the marriage can be avoided by obtaining a license. To obtain a license, the man and woman should: (1) appear before the county clerk, (2) submit proof of identity and age, and if underage, present documents establishing parental consent or court approval; and (3) sign the license application under oath. The license should be obtained at least 72 hours prior to the marriage ceremony.

Common Law Marriage

Common law marriages in Texas are referred to as “informal marriages” in the Family Code. To establish that a common law marriage exists, it must be shown that the man and woman (1) agreed to be married, (2) lived together as husband and wife, and (3) represented to others that they were married. [Cohabitation, or living together, is the most asked about question, but ironically cohabitation is the element of common law marriage that is the easiest to prove.] There is no specified time period for which a couple must live together. The third element mentioned above involves “holding out” to others that the couple is married.

Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages. “Spouse” means a husband who is a man, or a wife who is a woman. Texas Family Code 3.401(5).

Brandon Young Bell

Areas of Practice
  • Family Law