How do I know if I’m common law married?

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How do I know if I’m common law married?

My boyfriend and I have lived together in CO for 2 years and for the last 4 in FL. We have filed taxes together as married. I have not changed my name and we have not had a ceremony. We are broken up now and I am wondering if and what would constitute us as common law married and what I would have to do if we are?

Asked on August 1, 2017 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your current state (Florida) does not have common law marriage. Your prior state (Colorado) does, and if you met CO's criteria for a common law marriage, FL will honor it. However, to be considered common law married in CO, the two of you would have had to agree to be married (i.e. you *both* considered* yourself married) and you publically held yourself out to other people as spouses--not just as in love or partners, etc., but actually (for example) described each other as your spouse. If you did meet those criteria *during your time in CO,*, FL should recognize your marriage; otherwise, it will not.
If you were considered common law married in CO, you would have to divorce to official end or break the marriage.


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