Are You Looking To End Your Colorado Common-Law Marriage?
Colorado is one of the few states that recognizes common-law marriage. If you are married by common law and decide to break up with your spouse, you will have to go through the divorce process just as if you were married.
At The Offices of Keane Law, LLC, in Boulder our lawyers can advise you on whether your relationship qualifies as a common-law marriage in Colorado. We offer a free 30-minute consultation to answer your questions about this area of family law.
What Is Common-Law Marriage?
In Colorado, the elements of a common-law marriage are as follows:
- You hold yourselves out as husband and wife (for example, by filing a joint tax return or introducing your partner as your spouse).
- You consent to the common-law marriage.
- You live together.
- You have the reputation in the community as being married.
- There is nothing to legally bar you from marriage (such as being first cousins or under the age of consent).
The court will look at these factors as well as all other relevant circumstances in order to determine whether a common-law marriage exists. There is no time requirement for a common-law marriage in Colorado. If you meet the conditions of a common-law marriage, you are married regardless of how long you and your spouse have been together. A common-law marriage is different from a domestic partnership in that it is as valid as a ceremonial marriage and can only end by divorce or death.
What If My Ex Claims We Are Married By Common Law?
If your ex claims that you have a common-law marriage and you believe that you do not have a common law marriage, then your ex will have the burden of proof to show that a common law marriage exists. If your ex is able to make that showing, you will have to divide marital property with your ex, and you could be required to pay spousal support. The Offices of Keane Law, LLC, is well-versed in common-law marriage issues. We can help you defeat a common-law marriage claim.