Common Law Marriage in Colorado
If you've been a committed relationship with your partner for a while you could potentially qualify for a common law marriage depending on certain factors.
When two people are in a committed relationship and live together, this could be considered a common law marriage. In Colorado, there is no specific statute that recognizes common law marriages, but the state courts have recognized them in the past. Common law marriages date back to 1877 when the Supreme Court ruled that non-ceremonial marriages were valid under U.S. law, if it abides by state laws. However, common law marriages are just as valid as ceremonial marriages. The same rules and regulations listed below apply to both types of marriages.
Do you qualify for a Common Law Marriage in Colorado?
A common law marriage in Colorado is constituted when a couple meets the following requirements:
- You have filed taxes jointly
- You have been on each other’s health insurance plans
- You and close friends refer to you and your partner as a married couple
- You have signed an Affidavit of Common Law Marriage
- You live together
- You had a formal ceremony
- You exchanged rings
- You obtain other public benefits as a married couple
Colorado is one state out of twelve in the United States that recognizes a common law marriage. Each state is different in how they treat common law marriages. However, there are standard rules in place that all states must abide by, such as persons entering into the common law marriage must both be consensual, be at least 18 years of age, and not currently married.
An Affidavit of Common Law Marriage is a simple form that can be filled out at your county clerk’s office. Some people may sign this affidavit to be able to claim their significant other on health insurances. However, an Affidavit of Common Law Marriage might not be sufficient enough for some courts. If you have signed the affidavit, but have not lived together or held each other out as married, some courts could reject the affidavit. If you are not sure if you qualify for a common law marriage in Colorado, contact one of our highly skilled divorce & family law attorneys today.
Common Law Divorces in Colorado
A common law marriage in Colorado has the same legal rights and responsibilities as a traditional marriage. This means that if you have a common law marriage and then get divorced, you will go through the same process as anyone else who is in the process of getting divorced. That means you and your partner will have to follow the law when it comes to splitting up marital property, child custody/child support (if any), and alimony. Your attorney will also need to confirm that you qualify for the common law marriage with the qualifications written above.
There are no time requirements for common law marriages in Colorado. A common law marriage could exist after just a month or not exist after 10 years. Time is not considered a factor when filing for a common law divorce in Colorado.
Hiring the Right Common Law Divorce Attorney in Denver
A common law divorce will begin like any other traditional divorce. Your attorney will look at shared financials and take into account if you have any children together. Your lawyer will help you file a petition for dissolution of marriage as well as any other documents that need to be filed. Having an attorney who can be a strong advocate for you will help relieve some stress. If your significant other is claiming to be in a common law marriage and you do not believe that you qualify, your attorney will take an in depth look to see if you do in fact qualify. If there is proof that a common law marriage is non-existent, a divorce cannot be granted. Hiring an experienced attorney that knows what to look for in a common law marriage is very important and can help you determine whether you will need a divorce or not. At Colorado Legal Group, our attorneys will take you from start to finish on your case, guiding you through every step of the way.
If you think you may be in a common law marriage, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to find out what your options are. An attorney can help you understand your rights and help you protect your interests. At Colorado Legal Group, we specialize in helping clients get through any case they are facing with as little stress and as drama free as possible. If you have any questions about common law marriages in Colorado, contact one of our attorneys today at (720) 594-7360.