I’ve been with my “wife” for 20 years but we were never legally married, do I have to pay alimony if we “divorce”?

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I’ve been with my “wife” for 20 years but we were never legally married, do I have to pay alimony if we “divorce”?

Our state does have common law marriage.

Asked on April 20, 2012 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Although you put the words in quotes it appears that you indeed believe that you are legally married.  And the intent to be legally married in Colorado is enough to spring up the rights of a spouse upon divorce.  So I would check with an attorney in your state to see if the criteria have been met to assume a common law marriage and what your obligatons to each other now are.  Good luck.


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