Does an alleged common lawhusband have more rights regarding guardianship over their “spouse”, than the person’s adult child?

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2011

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Does an alleged common lawhusband have more rights regarding guardianship over their “spouse”, than the person’s adult child?

My mother’s on/off again boyfriend claims common law marriage; most of his efforts are hearsay. Mother now has dementia and her boyfriend is forcing me out of decisions since no guardianship is yet established. Is there any case law to support an adult child’s rights over a common law 2nd spouse? He also is high debt/felon.

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Estate Planning, Colorado


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If they fit the bill as common law husband and wife then his wishes will be respected over and above you as the adult child.  If a state recognizes common law marriage as valid then it is as valid as those that have been solemnized by ceremony.  What you need to do is to get help as soon as you possibly can from an attorney to help you apply to the courts for guardianship or covservatorship over your Mother and her estate.  Once that is established then there is no question as to who can make the decisions on your Mother's behalf.  In the meantime you need to challenge him ever step of the way.  Good luck to you.

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