If you have moved to Colorado from elsewhere, you may not know much about common-law marriage, and the impact that it can have on divorce proceedings, just because most states do not even recognize it. However, Colorado still does, so it is important to know what it is and how it works.
First off, people need to know that a common-law marriage is just as binding as a traditional marriage, even though there is no ceremony. The only way for the marriage to legally end is to go through a divorce. Of course, the marriage also ends if one party passes away.
To decide if you and your spouse are in a common-law marriage, the courts are going to look at a few factors. These could include the way that you view yourselves. If you think of yourselves as being married, that is taken into account, especially when you have done things to support this view, like opening a checking account together. Your consent is also needed.
One of the defining characteristics is simply whether or not the two of you live under the same roof. Community members may also be asked. Do they think that you are married? That can play into the decision as well, as the way you are viewed and the way that you live helps to define the relationship.
Finally, the marriage has to be legal. For instance, you both must be old enough to get married and you cannot be married to anyone else. Without any legal barriers, a marriage can be declared.
Do you want to know more about common-law marriage or divorce? If you do, you may want to take a moment to check out our page on dissolution of marriage.
Source: http://www.jameskeanelaw.com, “Common Law Marriage” Aug. 14, 2014