When cohabitating, there is a lot to think about related to common law marriage.
It is important because a common law marriage can have great effects on someone’s property interests, the right to receive maintenance, and more.
There are certain standards or criteria for determining whether a common law marriage exists. Ultimately, whether a common law marriage exists may be a question of fact to be determined by a Colorado family law judge.
Common Law Marriages Must Meet Required Conditions
- Parties must both be over 18 years of age;
- The parties must have agreed that they are husband and wife;
- The parties must cohabitate as husband and wife after agreeing among themselves that they are husband and wife; and
- The parties must hold themselves out to the public at large as husband and wife.
When people ask whether they are common law married, they are usually basing their inquiry on other erroneous factors, or one or two of those listed above.
Common Law Marriage Misconceptions
One is not considered to be common law married in the state of Colorado just because they:
1. Live with a person for a certain period of time (people often presume 6 months or more);
2. Have a joint bank account or other joint property together;
3. Live together with the intent of ultimately marrying; and/or
4. File income taxes together.
These factors may all be evidence of a common law marriage, but do not automatically create a common law marriage. People may believe they are common law married, but are not.
Conversely, people may find themselves to be common law married without even knowing it.
Sometimes the behavior of the parties such as filing joint tax returns or covering a partner on health insurance can create unintended legal consequences.
How To Prove A Common Law Marriage Exists
As a Colorado divorce lawyers, our first step is to always determine whether a common law marriage really exists. We go through the enumerated factors of a common law marriage.
We then go through the evidence associated with each factor to determine whether a common law marriage exists and what would be the best course of action to protect your rights under the law.
Contact The Law Offices Of Kelli J Malcolm Today
The content of this page is for general informational purposes only, and should not be considered advice in your case.
If you’re getting a divorce or need to file for an allocation of parental responsibility, you need a Colorado family law attorney who knows the intricacies of divorce in Colorado and the details of the law.
Contact the Law Offices Of Kelli J Malcolm at 720-261-7287 for a free 30 minute phone consultation today.