A husband and wife sharing their first kiss at a wedding

What is a Common-Law Marriage?

A Unique Alternative

In Colorado, when a couple falls in love and wishes to get married, they typically choose to get a marriage license and become legally married. However, they might not be aware of another type of marriage in the state. Read on to learn about common-law marriages in Colorado.

Common-Law Marriage Defined

In Colorado, common law marriage is defined as a relationship between two people who are not married but have lived together in a marital-like relationship for a period of time. The requirements to be considered in a common-law marriage are that the couple must live together and consider themselves to be husband and wife. This means that they must refer to each other as husband and wife, use the same last name, file joint tax returns, and own property together.

Unlike traditional marriages, common-law marriages do not require a ceremony or license.

If you are considering entering into a common-law marriage, it is important to speak with an attorney to make sure that you understand the rights and responsibilities that come along with it.

Ending a Common-Law Marriage

Ending a common-law marriage is very different from beginning one; a couple cannot simply stop referring to one another as husband and wife. There are two ways to end a common-law marriage in Colorado: divorce and annulment. A divorce is a legal process that dissolves a marriage. An annulment, on the other hand, declares that the marriage never actually happened.

To get divorced, you must meet specific residency requirements and file a petition with the court. The court will then grant a divorce decree if it finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

An annulment has different requirements. One spouse must prove to the court that the marriage was invalid from the beginning due to some sort of fraud or mistake.

If you are in a common-law marriage and want to end it, you should speak to an attorney to find out which option is best for you.

Speak with An Attorney for Guidance

Navigating common-law marriage requirements can be difficult; whether you want to recognize a common-law marriage or wish to end one, it’s important to discuss your situation with a family law attorney who understands state requirements regarding this unique type of marriage. At Law Office of Alexandra White, PC, our team is prepared to help you work through the challenges of common-law marriage to help you move forward on the best path.

Learn more about common-law marriage in Colorado or speak with a member of our team by calling us at (303) 647-4245 or by visiting our website.