Can I fight for half our family home if we were only common law in Colorado?

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Can I fight for half our family home if we were only common law in Colorado?

I am not on the deed. We have 2 children
together. Have had joint bank accounts and he
has claimed me as a dependent on his taxes.
All family and friends knew us as married.

Asked on May 6, 2018 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you and he both publically held yourself out as married to other people (e.g. referred to each other as spouses or husband/wife; told people you were married; etc.) and you both agreed to live as husband and wife, then you would in fact be considered to have a common law marriage. In that event, you are entitled to the same things that someone married in a formal ceremony would be. You would be entitled to a share of the "community property" (anything acquired during marriage--e.g. money, real estate, other belongings) unless it was inherited solely by or gifted solely to one of you. You each keep your own "separate" property: inheritance, gifts, and anything you owned before your common law marriage was established. If he provides more of the family support than you, you should also be entitled to spousal support ("alimony"), at least for a few years. And whichever of the two of you gets primary custody of the children will get child support from the other. To get these things, you need to divorce him, again, the same as someone who was formally married would divorce.


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