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Common-Law Marriage in Colorado

Most people in Colorado marry with the benefit of a marriage license. Some Coloradans enter into “common-law marriages” — living together like married people, but without the official paperwork.

One challenge for common-law marriages when they come apart is obtaining the same rights as people married conventionally, such as inheritance rights and spousal maintenance/alimony. Another is that they may think they are common-law married however, the marriage does not really meet the definition — and thus they may be filing taxes improperly when filing jointly.

Common-Law Marriage Is Often — And Dangerously — Misunderstood

With the best intentions, many people assume they are common-law married because they meet one or more of these requirements, and they are wrong:

  • They live with the other person for a length of time, like six months.
  • They share a joint bank account or own property jointly.
  • They file joint taxes.
  • They live together with the idea of marrying eventually.

The opposite also happens; people are truly common-law married, but they don’t know it and are thus missing out on important rights.

To understand the meaning of common-law marriage and what rights attach to it, you need to talk to a skilled family lawyer like Dina Christiansen.


Experienced Fort Collins / Northern Colorado  Common-Law Marriage Lawyer

Common-law marriage is legal in Colorado; however, the laws supporting it are often unclear. A person seeking divorce or alimony needs a highly skilled family attorney who knows the twists and turns of common law and marriage.  Contact us by using this form.