Common Law Divorce

A Guide To Common Law Divorce

The vast majority of marriages are recognized when you have a legal marriage license in Colorado. However, there is another type of marriage that is recognized when a couple has been together for some time and they also meet various other requirements. This is known as common law marriage and it is quite similar to conventional marriage in many ways.

On the other hand, the main difference between conventional and common law marriages is that you don’t need to have a marriage license or contract with a common law marriage.

What Is A Common Law Marriage

In Colorado, common law marriages are allowed. However, you don’t need to be together for a certain period of time before you can enter a common law marriage. Also, you don’t need to be living together in the same house or apartment for any period of time in order to get a common law marriage.

That said, even though you may live with your partner, this alone is not enough to get a common law marriage as well.

In Colorado, you will need to fulfill a particular set of conditions in order to be recognized as being married.

According to Colorado’s Supreme Court, a couple can be recognized as being in a common law marriage once they have both provided their consent to become husband and wife. They also need to have the mutual assumption of having a married relationship status.

In order to qualify for common law marriage in the state of Colorado, the requirements below need to be fulfilled:

  • Both persons are 18+ years old.
  • Both persons must voluntarily consent to the marriage
  • Both persons need to be able to be married; they can’t be married to any other persons
  • Cohabitation
  • They must both see themselves as being married and want to be recognized as such to the community

Common Law Marriage Evidence

Once you live in Colorado, both persons need to see themselves as being married to one another. If only one person regards themselves as being married and the other doesn’t, then it isn’t a common law marriage. The relationship between the two persons need to be more than simply dating, sleeping at one another’s homes, engaging in sexual relations, having children, helping one another financially or even other people believing that they are married.

There are some persons who think of common law marriage as being less real than conventional marriage. However, according to Colorado law, these two types of marriages are actually regarded as being the same. Basically, the obligations, benefits and rights of persons in traditional and common law marriages are the same.

Additionally, taxation and social security is also the same for persons in a traditional or common law marriage.

Divorce & Common Law Marriages

One thing to note is that if you want a divorce and are in a common law marriage, there is no such thing as a common law divorce or dissolution. In order to dissolve the marriage, you will have to go through the traditional, legal divorce proceedings if you want to divorce your common law husband or wife.

In the event that the marriage has broken down, whether it is a traditional or common law marriage, you will need to file a dissolution proceeding in Court. The agreement for divorce will contain all the separation details.

The matters that will need to be determined via the court and agreement of both parties include:

  • How assets and property will be divided
  • If there are children, how custody and visitation will be awarded
  • Spousal support
  • Support for children (if there are children involved)

These are according to the Dissolution of Marriage Act in Colorado.

Since dealing with divorce proceedings is quite complex and challenging, it is essential that an experienced Colorado Springs common law divorce attorney is hired.

This is especially important if the marriage was long and there are a lot of accumulated assets and children.

The Legitimacy Of Common Law Marriages

There are many cases of divorce between common law marriages where one person indicates that the common law marriage was valid and the other person indicates that they were never married. As a result, if no marriage existed, then divorce isn’t possible.

A marriage exists according to the 1987 Appellate Court if:

– The two persons agreed to the marriage
– Both of these persons lived together as a married couple
– They indicated to the community that they were married

It is not always simple to prove the existence of common law marriage and Colorado is one of a handful of states that acknowledge and accept common law marriages. Therefore, you will need a highly professional and experienced Colorado Springs family lawyer to help with your common law divorce and to guide you as to how you should proceed with a divorce.


Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney Mary Daugherty offers low-cost divorce if you and your spouse are in basic agreement with the terms of a Colorado divorce I can save you a LOT of money! Give me a call to see if a low-cost divorce is right for you!

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I was very fortunate to have Mary as my attorney. Court is a hard enough place to be. Not only did Mary give me a 100% she also listened to me and that was important. Had a great out come. Thank you!
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