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Important Things You Need to Know about Common Law Marriage in Colorado

Tolison & Williams | 15 November, 2016 | Family Law

If you and your significant other are currently living together and are considering your future options, it’s important to know the legal ramifications of your choices. Common law marriages are a complex legal subject, and so to help illuminate this area of the law and provide answers to some common questions, this latest post will highlight important things you need to know about common law marriage in Colorado.

The Factors for Determining Common Law Marriage

In considering whether you and your partner are currently in a common law marriage, there are several factors to review. The following are a few factors that court considers when deciding whether a couple has been common law married:

  • They cohabitate
  • They hold one another out as their spouse to each other and those around them
  • They are married openly in the public eye

Divorce law experts may also argue successfully that a couple is involved in a common law marriage if the following circumstances are present (please note, this list is not exhaustive, these circumstances are merely a few examples of many circumstances that may establish a common law marriage):

  • The couple files joint taxes
  • The couple has joint bank accounts
  • One lists the other as their spouse on their insurance forms
  • The parties appear in pictures wearing wedding rings
  • the parties have exhanged greeting cards that indicate that they are each other's "Husband" or "Wife"
  • One takes the other’s surname and uses that name on bank forms and other official documents

What are Your Legal Rights in a Common Law Marriage?

If you or your spouse wishes to execute your legal rights as part of a common law marriage, it’s important to know more about the support you’re provided under Colorado law. This is particularly important for those going through the separation process from a common law partner. If you are in this situation, you may have a legal right to the following:

  • Spousal claims on an estate
  • Property division
  • Allocation of debt
  • Business interests connected with your common law spouse
  • Child support payments

How to Effectively End a Common Law Marriage

A time may come when you wish to separate from your common law partner and move away. When completing this process, you should try to learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities. Committing to this process now will help you avoid expensive and time-consuming issues in the months and years to come.

The most important step to take is first to determine, alongside a Colorado legal specialist, whether you were involved in a common law marriage. And then you can assess how to further separate your finances and day-to-day life from your former partner to legally separate to allow both you and your former partner to move forward.

The laws regarding common law marriage in Colorado are not straightforward. You’ll need to work with a trusted legal specialist to guide you as you consider elements such as finances, child custody, and property. Our trusted team is available now to answer your questions and ensure you’re able to move forward after your common law marriage ends.