Whether you are thinking about marriage for the first time or recently went through a divorce and are planning to re-marry, you might have questions about how many times you can get married in Texas.
In Texas, there is no law restricting the number of times you can get married. In fact, statistics show that about 6 percent of people in Texas have been married at least three times.
There are other types of restrictions on marriage in the state of Texas, such as the age when you can legally marry, the number of people you can be married to at one time, and the length between marriages.
If you have questions about marriage, especially if you are going through a divorce and plan to re-marry, then let’s take a closer look at some common marital issues in Texas.
Marital Restrictions to Be Aware of in Texas
Since there are no restrictions on the number of times you can get married in Texas, let’s examine some of the other restrictions that could apply to your situation.
Age for Marriage
The Texas Family Code states that a person must be 18 to consent to marriage. However, minors can enter into marriage with approval from a parent or legal guardian, and a court can also approve a petition for marriage for an underage person.
Unfortunately, many minors have been entered into marriage against their will. In fact, Texas is one of the leading U.S. states for what’s known as “child brides.”
That’s why the Texas legislature recently issued a bill that established a floor prohibiting anyone under the age of 16 from getting married. The bill also prohibited a person younger than 18 from entering into marriage unless a judge approves.
Number of Marriages
The state of Texas only allows for a person to be entered into one legally-recognized marriage at one time. This includes a marriage that originated in another U.S. state.
There are many occurrences where a person will try to marry someone else in the state of Texas while they are legally married to someone else in a different state. Texas will not recognize this marriage. A person would need to dissolve the original marriage before entering into a new marriage in Texas.
However, you do not have to be a resident of the state of Texas to get married in Texas. While the general requirement for divorce is that you need to be a resident of Texas to finalize a divorce, you actually do not have to reside in Texas to receive a marriage certificate.
Number of People in Marriage
The Texas Family Code only allows for two unmarried people to enter into a marriage. As stated before, you cannot already be in a marriage and then enter into a separate marriage (e.g., bigamy). You also cannot have multiple spouses as part of the same marital relationship (e.g., polygamy).
In fact, bigamy is considered a criminal offense in the state of Texas. Texas law defines the offense as falling into a few different categories:
- A person initiates the act of marrying someone else while already married.
- A person passes off a living arrangement as a marriage while already married to someone else.
- A person enters into a marriage relationship with someone else with the knowledge that this person is already married.
Length of Time Between Marriages
There is also a restriction on the length of time between the end of one marriage and the official start of another marriage. While you could conceivably get married and divorced an endless number of times, you cannot string together marriages back-to-back.
The state of Texas requires a 30-day period between the end of a divorce and a new marriage. For example, if one spouse finalizes a divorce from their previous marriage, that person must wait 30 days before they officially re-marry another person.
If a spouse does not wait 30 days, the new marriage could be considered null and void. Known as a “concealed divorce,” a Texas court could grant an annulment of the marriage if one party was “divorced from a third party within the 30-day period preceding the date of the marriage ceremony.”
Find Legal Support with Marriage and Divorce in Texas
If you have concerns about legal issues affecting marriage and divorce in Texas, then you will want to work with a family law attorney to make sure you are following the law.
As an expert family law attorney, I can provide assistance with divorce matters such as filing for divorce, representing you before a court, and helping address divorce-related matters such as child support and child custody.
I currently practice family law in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County. If you live in one of these counties and need legal support, then reach out to me to discuss your situation.
Call my offices today at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your marriage or divorce situation in Texas. I’m here to help.