Ouan Bland - Page 11

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          outstanding tax liability.  See sec. 6501(c)(3).  This is not a             
          “whipsaw” situation for respondent.                                         
          2.  Petitioner’s Marital Status                                             
               Respondent alleges in the alternative, that petitioner was             
          Mr. Fullen’s common law wife and, as such, is liable for income             
          tax on one-half of Mr. Fullen’s income.  Under such                         
          circumstances, petitioner’s proper filing status would be married           
          filing separate instead of single.  See sec. 1(d).                          
               The three elements of a common law marriage in Texas are:              
          (1) The couple agreed to be married; (2) after the agreement,               
          they lived together as husband and wife; and, (3) they                      
          represented to others that they are married.  See Tex. Fam. Code            
          Ann. sec. 2.401(a) (Vernon 1998); Russell v. Russell, 865 S.W.2d            
          929, 932 (Tex. 1993).  All three elements must coexist to                   
          establish a valid common law marriage.  Winfield v. Renfro, 821             
          S.W.2d 640, 645 (Tex. App. 1991).                                           
               While they did reside together during 1998, petitioner and             
          Mr. Fullen have never been married to each other.  Petitioner               
          testified that she never gave anyone the impression she was                 
          married to Mr. Fullen.  The Court finds her testimony credible.             
          The Court holds petitioner was not married to Mr. Fullen during             
          1998.  The Court holds further that petitioner’s correct filing             
          status for taxable year 1998 is single.                                     

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