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Can you be common law married in Colorado?

Can you be common law married in Colorado? Yes, you can be common law married in Colorado. It’s actually easier here in Colorado to be common law married than it is in a lot of other states. We have a very simple law regarding it.

In order to be common law married you only have to live together, hold yourself as married, and you have to have an intention to be married.

As you can see, number three is subjective. An intention to be married, that’s in your head. The way the courts look at it is they look for evidence of your intent to be married. Let’s say you live together and you know that’s true. You may even have people that think you’re married because you live together and you certainly look like you’re married and act like you’re married, but is there any other evidence that shows that intent to be married? I’ll give you a few examples that actually does show your intent to be married.

If you file your taxes as married, that’s pretty much a done deal. Now the Federal Government thinks you’re married. You are common law married. The only way you could get out of that one is to prove that it’s tax fraud, and then you’re in trouble for tax fraud. It’s pretty much a done deal if you’ve filed your taxes as married.

Another way is that on health insurance you have signed an Affidavit of Common Law Marriage in order to have someone on your health insurance, or you’ve just said that you’re married so that someone is on your health insurance. That’s also evidence that could be used in court to say that you’re common law married.

The third is that there’s been a ceremony. You never got a license but you had a ceremony and there’s evidence of a ceremony that you got married. I had a case once where people were on a cruise and they had a ceremony on the cruise but they never got a marriage license but there were all these pictures of their wedding ceremony. That was pretty much a done deal that they were common law married. Holding yourself out as married is other evidence.

Again, if you really want to know if you’re common law married feel free to give me a call. We can talk about the specifics around your case and whether I think that a court would hold you as common law married.

Why does it make a difference? Let’s just say you have a child. If you are common law married you get a divorce, you split up assets and debts and all of that. If you’re not, you do an allocation of parental responsibilities. For people that have a child who aren’t married there is no division of assets and debts because you’re not married. It’s a very different case.

If you need maintenance, alimony, maintenance, there is no maintenance if you’re not married and there is maintenance if you’re common law married. If you’re common law married that might be a very long-term marriage. Who knows? It may make a big difference in terms of maintenance as well, so there’s reasons to know whether you’re common law married or not in terms of when you are splitting up.

Feel free to give me a call at 303.502.5006 and we’ll talk about it and see whether it’s relevant in your case.

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Matthews Family Lawyers