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Wheat Ridge Common Law Marriage Attorney | What is a Common Law Marriage?

| May 9, 2017 | Divorce |

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A question our Wheat Ridge family law attorneys often hear is, “What makes a common law marriage?” In Jefferson County as well as all across Colorado, there are three important elements that a couple must meet in order to be considered in a common law marriage in Westminster:

  1. The couple must live together;
  2. The couple must mutually agree to be married; and
  3. The couple must hold themselves as married out to the public.

Let’s look at each of these elements in more detail.

Arvada Common Law Marriage Attorney: Cohabitation

There are many myths about how long a couple must be living together before they can be considered common law married. In all actuality, there is no specific time period. Two people can live together in Golden for decades without creating a common law marriage. On the other hand, if all the criteria are met, a couple only living together for a few years can create a common law union.

Jefferson County Common Law Marriage Lawyer: Mutual Agreement and Public Perception

A couple must agree to be married. In other words, if a girl calls her man her husband, but the man still considers her his girlfriend, then a common law marriage is a no go. The couple must consider themselves as married and present themselves that way to others. Typically, the Jefferson County Colorado judge will look for specific things in order to determine common law marriage. Does the couple:

  • Have a reputation in public as being married;
  • Have joint bank accounts or own property together;
  • Wear wedding rings or participate in an informal marriage / commitment ceremony;
  • List the other as a spouse on insurance forms or retirement plans;
  • File joint tax returns

Lakewood Divorce Attorney and Common Law Marriage: How to Protect Yourself in a Dissolution

Often, when a couple who considered themselves to be common law married split, dividing up the assets and other issues related to divorce can be difficult. One party may claim they never lived as a married couple in order to get out of paying alimony. Without specific legal evidence that a common law marriage existed, you need to protect yourself. Contact us to speak with an experienced attorney about your rights.


If you have questions about your specific circumstance and common law marriage, or if you are separating from your common law marriage partner and want to make sure you get a fair deal, contact the best family law attorneys from the Pearman Law Firm for a free initial phone consultation at 720-259-9528 or toll free at 888-835-6339 today.

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