Montrose, CO asked in Civil Litigation, Divorce and Family Law for Colorado

Q: What determines common law marriage in the state of Colorado? We bought a home and were together for 9 years

I filed for divorce and his attorney filed that we are not common law married.

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Common law marriage is a complex question that you should hire an attorney to help you address. You typically need to be together for a certain amount of time and hold out as married such as wearing wedding rings, calling each other husband and wife, and so on. Each state is different, hence the need for an attorney. I believe CO has a statute addressing the situation.

Being married allows you access to the divorce laws which are comprehensive. They are nice for that reason.

But if you are not married that is not the end. If you are not married and own property together, then you should also look into an action called a partition action. This allows you to split property without using the divorce laws. It is based in equity and can be very effective. This can split real and personal property. In addition, you can couple this with other actions so you create a sudo divorce case not using the divorce laws. Unfortunately, when the divorce laws do not apply you need to get creative to get a fair result. Again, this is complex law that you need an attorney for.

Please be aware that any answer is based on all the events occurring in Colorado. Further, please be aware that this is not legal advice. This is generic information intended to help the reader develop questions to ask an attorney when they are ready. Each case is different. Anyone reading this answer in need of legal advice should contact an attorney.

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