Can you move-in with someone if your are legally separated?

I am dating a man who has a separation agreement with his wife. We are planning to move in together which would be considered a common law marriage. I am in need to know if it is legal in CO to move in before the divorce is finalized.

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

From what you right I assume your issue is with moving in with a married man and creating a common law marriage at the same time. The fact is that merelyliving with someone does not create a common law marriage. While there is no set period of time to establish such a marriage you would have to do more than simply share the same living accommodations. In order to establish a common law marriage in CO, you must prove that:

  • You cohabited;
  • You mutually agree to be married; and
  • You held yourselves out to the public or third parties as married. 

Examples could include the filing of joint tax returns, the holding of joint assets, introducing yourselves as "husband" and "wife", etc. 

As long as you refrain from doing the above, no common law marriage will be formed. There can be no claim of bigamy. However, if the person that you are living with is still married (even if separated) there could potentially be a claim for adultery. However what, if any, effect that would have on their divorce is unclear.

At this point, your friend needs to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area as to this living arrangement.


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