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We Are Family… Right? Things To Know About Common Law Marriage

Carrie Eckstein

Colorado recognizes common law marriages, which means that if you cohabitate with your partner for any duration and you mutually and consistently hold yourselves out to be married, then you are considered married under Colorado law.

The “mutual” component means that you both have the intent to be married. The marriage is agreed upon and entered into by both of you. Courts have found that a common law marriage requires steadfast, unvarying, and unwavering representation and introduction as husband and wife. This means that your family, neighbors, co-workers, children’s teachers, etc. believe you are married.

The “consistent” component means that you cannot claim a marriage exists for only limited or just some advantages, occasions, or appearances, but then not others. The courts have held that a common law marriage is not proven where parties hold out as married on only certain occasions where it is economically advantageous or there is a financial convenience, such as obtaining health or life insurance, but not for others, such as when filing income taxes and sharing bank accounts.

If you have entered into a common law marriage, then you are required to exist through an official dissolution or marriage proceeding. This will protect your interests, property, is the only way to avoid a claim to a longer duration to the marriage, and is required before you get married to someone else in the future.

At The Harris Law Firm, we can assist you in proving there is or is not a common law marriage, and help with a divorce if needed. Give us a call at (303) 622-5502 to speak with one of our Denver common law marriage attorneys, or fill out our online form to ask us a free legal question.

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