Colorado is one of the few states in the U.S. that recognizes common law marriage, which is the marriage of two people who live together as a married couple. Common law marriages do not require a license or formal ceremony but are still viewed by the state as “just as married” as couples married traditionally.
Common Law Marriage in Colorado
Cohabitation and romantic involvement are not the only requirements for common law marriage to be recognized by the court. In Colorado, a couple, regardless of the length of the relationship, must consider themselves a married couple. For example, a couple could live together for 20 years, but live as girlfriend or boyfriend, and not be eligible to be married under common law. However, on the other hand, if the couple did live together and consider themselves to be married, they would have a common law marriage.
In addition to both parties considering themselves a married couple, the court must find that the couple meets the following requirements:
- Both parties are over the age of 18
- Both parties live together as a married couple
- Both parties agree to be married
- Both parties present themselves as a married couple legally and in their community
Colorado Common Law Divorce Attorney
Common law marriages are provided the same benefits as all other marriages. And just like other marriages, if a common law married couple wishes to end their relationship, they will need to file for divorce. When filing for divorce, in place of a marriage certificate to prove that the marriage existed, common law married couples will need to provide alternative proof of the marriage, such as insurance papers, tax returns, and other documents. Aside from providing evidence that the marriage existed, common law married couples are required to address traditional divorce matters, such as property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other divorce-related issues.
If you have questions about your rights as a common law couple, or are in a common law marriage in Colorado and need help filing for divorce, an experienced attorney at The Gasper Law Group can protect your rights and help you determine your next steps. To schedule a free consultation with a Colorado Springs common law marriage & divorce attorney, contact us online or call our office today at 719-888-4033.