In Texas, family law means divorce, child custody, paternity, grandparent rights, and the enforcement of Decrees and orders as they relate to children and the division of property and debts.
With the new laws supporting marriage in the LBGT community, and the old concepts of common law marriage, family law now reaches across the entire spectrum of adult relationships and, in some circumstances, even those who are 16 or 17 years old. Starting with our heritage, common law marriage emerged from the desire of people wanting to marry, but unable to because of the sparse population and the occasional appearance of a magistrate across the planes to perform the ceremony. Those laws are still around. If the couple agrees to be married, hold themselves out as married, and cohabitate, Texas will consider their marriage as valid and binding as if they tied the knot in a church or in front of a judge.