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Helping With
Common Law Marriage
In Colorado


Helping With
Common Law Marriage
In Colorado


In Colorado, common law marriage is recognized as a legal union between two people who have been living together and presenting themselves as a married couple for a certain period of time. However, disputes over common law marriage can arise, and it can be difficult to navigate the legal system without the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Modern Family Law's common law marriage lawyers in Colorado are experienced in handling cases related to common law marriage, including establishing, defending, or dissolving such marriages.

Whether you are seeking to establish a common-law marriage, defend against allegations of common-law marriage, or dissolve a common-law marriage, our skilled attorneys can help you understand your legal options and advocate for your best interests. Learn about common law marriage in Colorado below including:

early neutral assessment Colorado

Our experienced Colorado common-law marriage lawyers can provide a range of legal services to help you establish, defend, or dissolve a common-law marriage. With their knowledge of Colorado common law marriage law, our skilled lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights and interests in any related legal matters.


In Colorado, a common law marriage is a legal union between two people who have not obtained a marriage license or participated in a formal ceremony, but have lived together and presented themselves as a married couple. To establish a common law marriage in Colorado, the couple must meet several requirements including:

1. They must live together as spouses;

2. They must mutually consent or agree to be married; and

3. They must hold themselves out to the public as married.

The length of time the couple has been living together is not a determining factor in Colorado. Once a common law marriage is established, it is treated the same as a formal marriage and must be dissolved through the legal divorce process. Colorado is one of only a few states that recognizes common law marriage as a legal and valid form of marriage.

common law marriage Colorado


In Colorado, a common law marriage is established when a couple meets certain requirements. These include:

-You have filed joint taxes
-You live together
-Your close friends refer to you and your partner as a married couple
-You are on each other’s health insurance policy
-You have signed an Affidavit of Common Law Marriage
-You benefit from public benefits as a married couple

There is no specific length of time required for the couple to live together before they may be considered common law married in Colorado. Additionally, both parties must be at least 18 years of age and not currently married to someone else. It's important to note that simply living together or referring to each other as spouses is not enough to establish a common law marriage in Colorado. There must be clear evidence of the couple's intent to be married, such as joint bank accounts, joint property ownership, or filing taxes jointly.

Once a common law marriage is established in Colorado, it is treated the same as a formal marriage and must be dissolved through the legal divorce process.

Common Law Marriage – Age Restrictions

(1) A common law marriage entered into on or after September 1, 2006, shall not be recognized as a valid marriage in this state unless, at the time the common law marriage is entered into:

(a) Each party is eighteen years of age or older; and

(b) The marriage is not prohibited, as provided in section 14-2-110.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14-2-112, a common law marriage contracted within or outside this state on or after September 1, 2006, that does not satisfy the requirements specified in subsection (1) of this section shall not be recognized as valid in this state.


C.R.S. § 14-2-109.5


To dissolve a common law marriage in Colorado, you will need to go through the legal divorce process, which is similar to the process for ending a formal marriage. Here are the general steps:

1. File A Petition For Dissolution: The first step is to file a petition for dissolution of marriage in the appropriate court in the county where you or your spouse currently resides.

2. Serve Your Spouse:  You will need to formally serve your spouse with the divorce papers, usually through a process server or certified mail.

3. Respond To The Petition: Your spouse will have a certain amount of time to respond to the petition, usually 21 days.

4. Negotiate A Settlement: You and your spouse will have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement agreement that addresses issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody, if applicable. You may choose to work with a mediator or collaborative lawyer to help facilitate the negotiation process.

5. Attend A Hearing: If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, you will need to attend court hearings where a judge will make decisions about these issues.

6. Obtain A Divorce Decree: Once all issues have been resolved, either through negotiation or court order, the court will issue a final divorce decree that formally dissolves the common law marriage.

When it comes to dissolving a common law marriage, there is a key difference compared to formal marriages. If one spouse denies the existence of the union, the other party may need to provide evidence to prove that their spouse intended to be part of the marriage. Additionally, to formally dissolve the common law marriage, a court order is necessary.

It's worth noting that the process for dissolving a common law marriage in Colorado can be complex and may involve legal and financial issues that require the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can provide guidance and representation throughout the process, helping to protect your rights and interests.


David SandersDavid Sanders
21:37 21 Jun 22
Yes I want to thank all the staff at modern family law for all there hard work through this process I went through to win my case it was long but in long run I came out better with results then if I tried to do this on my own. I want to personally thank Chelsea Hillman And Patricia Wallace they went above and beyond to get me through all of this learning experience. I recommend them them personally and there staff to get you results. Thank you for your hard and dedication is this matter and I will be using you soon again into this matter as it's still a ongoing process.
Ceceilia ReedyCeceilia Reedy
17:04 14 Jun 22
Cynthia and her team are great! I hired Cynthia a week before my hearing and she made sure that she was prepared, up to date and knowledgeable about my case and handled everything in time for my hearing with very little time. Also she reached out with everything and responded quickly. She made sure that my concerns, my position and evidence were heard and having her at this hearing made all the difference for me. I’m happy I went with Modern Family Law and Cynthia, this has been mentally and emotionally draining for me to go through and as soon as Cynthia came abroad I was able to be relived of that and knew I was in good hands. My hearing went in my favor and I believe it’s because I had Cynthia. Now I can get back to my life and focus on other things and I’m just so grateful for Cynthia and her teams help.
Gina WarnerGina Warner
18:02 19 May 22
Brian Litzinger with Modern Family Law and I have been working together for about 4 years. He did an amazing job for me as I was going through a very difficult long custody battle for my Daughter. He helped keep me sane and is very kind and compassionate and understanding. He is the best attorney I have ever worked with and I highly recommend him. Oh, and I now have full custody of my Daughter.
Benji KelsoBenji Kelso
15:10 13 Apr 22
Brian and Yenesis were really great to work with. They are extremely thorough and know this area of law very well, and they won my case!
Devin RoybalDevin Roybal
18:53 01 Dec 21
Cynthia was absolutely amazing. We’ve been working together over the past year. She treated me with respect and professionalism. She would always get back to me in a timely manner and really believed in me. I couldn’t be more thankful for the things she did for me and showed me.I would recommend her to anyone. 5 stars all around. Thank you!!!!


What Happens If A Common Law Married Spouse Dies Without A Will?

In the case of a viable common law marriage, if one spouse dies without leaving a will, the surviving spouse typically has the right to inherit according to the state’s laws, and may also be entitled to other death benefits such as a pension. However, having a will can greatly reduce the likelihood of any issues arising, particularly if the deceased spouse’s other relatives contest the existence of a common law marriage.

Does It Really Matter Whether Our Friends & Family Think Of Us As Married?

Portraying yourselves as a married couple is a significant factor in establishing a common law marriage. Therefore, if you identify yourselves as married, it’s essential to ensure that those around you are aware of your status.

On the other hand, if you wish to avoid your relationship being deemed a common law marriage, it’s crucial to avoid sending mixed signals. Any public statements regarding your marital status, regardless of the reason, can have negative consequences in the future. To reinforce your assertion that your relationship is not a common law marriage, you can create a notarized document stating the same.

Are There Specific Steps To Prove A Common Law Marriage?

Here are several actions you can take to bolster your assertion:

  • Open a joint bank account
  • Refer to each other as “spouse” in public
  • Wear wedding rings
  • Use the same last name
  • Share expenses and household responsibilities
  • File joint tax returns.

Furthermore, as previously mentioned, it may be helpful to file an Affidavit of Common Law Marriage with your county clerk.



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