Colorado & Common Law Marriage

By Candice Geier
You do not need a ceremony to be married in Colorado.
married couple image by Mat Hayward from

The common law is based on judicial decisions going back centuries, rather than on written statutes. Common law marriages are legal and binding in Colorado.

Time Frame

If a man and woman live together for even a few days they can be considered common law married. There is no time frame that automatically defines a common law marriage in Colorado.


If a man and woman introduce each other in Colorado as husband and wife, they can be considered common law married. Testimony of introductions as man and wife can be used in court as evidence of a common law marriage.


If a couple is common law married in Colorado, they may have to divide their assets if they part ways. Alimony may have to be paid as well.


If a couple files taxes together in Colorado, they are likely to be considered common law married. They are generally considered common law married if they use the status of marriage for any other purpose.


A person can file for a divorce if the couple is common law married and decides to separate. But, if the couple never filed taxes together, did not introduce themselves as married, and did claim a married status for any other reason, the divorce is moot.

About the Author

Candice Geier has been a journalist since 2008. Her work has appeared in the "Pueblo Chieftain," "Colorado Central Magazine" and on the Colorado State University-Pueblo Today website, as well as in its quarterly magazine. Geier received a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University, where she was the managing editor for the university magazine.