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Not all married couples tie the knot in some elaborate or small wedding or even before a judicial officer at the local courthouse. Some couples live together just as a formally married couple, but they have never been officially married as such. It is this type of cohabiting that often leads to what is known as common law marriage. Discuss any questions you have with an Aurora common law marriage lawyer today.
Common law marriage in Colorado is not always clear or straightforward. For example, there is a commonly held belief that merely living together for two or more years constitutes common law marriage. This is not true. Living together for two years or more alone does not constitute common law marriage.
Rather, what constitutes common law marriage is the satisfaction of an array of factors that courts in Colorado use to determine whether there is common law marriage or not. Below is additional information presented as answers to questions frequently asked, which may be the same questions you have:
What is common law marriage?
Colorado courts have held that for common law marriage to be established, two basic requirements must be met, and these are (1) mutual consent or agreement of the parties and (2) mutual and open assumption of a marital relationship. Both are legal parameters that an Aurora family and divorce lawyer can help you understand how they apply in your individual case. Courts, not statutes, determine whether common law exists.
How do you prove that common law marriage exists?
You prove common law marriage exists by presenting evidence at a hearing and the best evidence is witness testimony and documents that back up what you say.
Is common law marriage recognized in Colorado?
Yes, Colorado is one of the few states that recognize common law marriages.
Is common law marriage recognized for same-sex marriages?
Yes. Once same-sex marriage became legal in Colorado, the same applied to common law marriages. This was codified in law by the Colorado Supreme Court earlier in 2021.
Is there a length of cohabitation required to establish common law marriage?
No. A common law marriage could exist after a couple living together after only one month but may not be established for a couple that has lived together for decades. What matters are the specific facts and circumstances – not how long a couple has lived together.
How do you terminate a common law marriage?
A common law marriage is terminated like any ordinary marriage—with a divorce. However, when seeking divorce where you were not formally married as required under the statute, you will first need to establish that you are, in fact, in a common law marriage.
My ex and I treated each other as if we were married, but then our relationship ended. Are we common law married?
Probably. A common law marriage can begin based on the conduct of the parties but cannot end based on the conduct of the parties. To end a common law marriage, you need to get a legal divorce through a court.
If you believe you are in a common law marriage and you might want a divorce, or if you are not sure but want to confirm, then contact an Aurora common law attorney from CNL Law Firm, PLLC. We can provide you with the information you need about your marital status and the procedures for a possible divorce.