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What Qualifies as a Common Law Marriage in Colorado?


Common law marriage is a concept that has been around for centuries. However, many still question what qualifies as a common-law marriage in Colorado. Whether you are considering entering a common law marriage or are already in one and seeking clarification, it's essential to understand the legal requirements and implications.

Definition of Common Law Marriage:

In Colorado, a common law marriage is recognized as a legal union between two individuals who meet specific criteria without obtaining a formal marriage license or going through a ceremony. This means that couples can be considered legally married under common law even if they have not gone through the traditional marriage process. However, it's important to note that not all states recognize common-law marriages, so it's crucial to understand the laws specific to Colorado.

Criteria for Establishing a Common Law Marriage:

Couples must meet several criteria to be considered legally married under common law in Colorado. First and foremost, they must both be at least 18 years old and capable of entering into a legal contract. Additionally, they must intend to be married and hold themselves out as married to others. This can include using the same last name, referring to each other as husband or wife, or filing joint tax returns.

Rights and Responsibilities of Common Law Marriage:

Couples entering a common law marriage in Colorado are granted the same rights and responsibilities as couples who go through a formal marriage process. This includes property rights, inheritance rights, and spousal support obligations. Couples in a common-law marriage need to understand that they may need to dissolve their union through legal means if they decide to separate to ensure their rights are protected.

How to Prove a Common Law Marriage:

If you are in a common-law marriage in Colorado and need to prove your marital status for legal purposes (such as applying for benefits or insurance), there are several ways to do so. These can include providing evidence of cohabitation, joint financial accounts or assets, shared bills or expenses, or witness testimony from friends or family members who can attest to your relationship.

Legal Recognition of Common Law Marriages:

While some states do not recognize common law marriages at all, Colorado is one of several states that do acknowledge them under certain circumstances. Couples considering entering a common law marriage or those already in one must understand their legal rights and responsibilities under state law. Consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help you fully understand your options and obligations.

Family Lawyers in Colorado Springs

If you're navigating the complexities of common law marriage in Colorado, or if you're facing challenges in proving your marital status, The Gasper Law Group can provide the guidance and advocacy you need. Our seasoned attorneys, located in the heart of Colorado Springs, CO, are well-versed in family law and can help you understand your rights and responsibilities within a common law marriage. Whether you're considering entering into such a relationship or seeking to dissolve one, we invite you to reach out to us. Contact us today at (719) 212-2448 to ensure that your relationship is protected and your voice is heard.

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