Aurora, CO asked in Divorce and Family Law for Colorado

Q: Is a wedding performed by an officiant in Colorado binding if the marriage license is never submitted to the state?

My girlfriend and I planned a small wedding with an officiant we had hired. A few weeks before the wedding I started having second thoughts and told her that I couldn't go through with it. We eventually agreed to go through with the ceremony and have some photos taken so her family in another country would believe that the wedding had actually happened, saving her the embarrassment of telling them that we called it off. We agreed that we would just not send in the marriage license thinking that the wedding would not be legally binding in any way if we destroyed the license.

Now she is telling me that someone told her that we are legally married even though the marriage license has not been submitted to the state. Is this true? Does the state even have a record of the marriage taking place without the signed license? If we are indeed legally married, I need to know so I can file for an annulment. What do the laws in Colorado state regarding this situation?

Thank you.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Sabra M. Janko
PREMIUM
Sabra M. Janko PRO label
Answered
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: If you held yourselves out as spouses then you could be considered to be common law married in which case you would need a state proceeding to dissolve the marriage.

Michael Joseph Larranaga agrees with this answer

Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga PRO label
Answered
  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Common law marriage is a fact intesive analysis. You should contact an attorney. if you did in fact put yourself into that category then you can apply for a divorce. It sounds like you are both on speaking terms so now is the time.

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