There is not one specific law in the state of Colorado that establishes common law marriage in the state. There are references to common law marriage in different areas of the laws of the state. Additionally, Colorado courts recognize common law marriage. Colorado is one of about 12 states in the country that recognize common law marriage, either by law or court decisions.
Common law marriage in Colorado requires a man and woman to cohabitate. Colorado does not require a couple to live together for a particular period of time to establish this element of a common law marriage.
Another element of common law marriage in Colorado is the mutual agreement of the parties to be married.
Public Demonstration of Marriage
The couple holds themselves out to other people as husband and wife, a married couple.
Same Sex Couples
Same sex couples in Colorado cannot enter into a common law marriage. Even if they meet the requirements of cohabitation, mutual agreement and holding themselves out as a married couple, Colorado statutes and court decisions do not permit a same sex common law marriage.
A common misconception associated with a common law marriage is that the couple can achieve a "common law divorce." In fact, if a legally valid common law marriage exists, the couple must obtain a traditional divorce through the court system.
- Colorado Divorce and Family Law Guide: Common Law Marriage
- "Common Law Marriage: A Legal Institution for Cohabitation"; Göran Lind; 2008
- wedding rings image by Antonio Oquias from Fotolia.com