What are the requirements pertaining to common law marriage?

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What are the requirements pertaining to common law marriage?

I am curious to know if I meet the standards for a common law marriage in CO. My ex had me on his health insurance, and we lived together for a little over a year and a half. We did not file any taxes together, we have no kids, no shared property, nothing. Only the insurance. I would occasionally introduce him as my husband, but it was not all the time. Do I need to pursue a divorce? We have been broken up 2 years now.

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Colorado law requires the following to establish a common law marriage: that you cohabitate, that you mutually agree to be married and that you hold yourselves out to the public or third parties as married.  The things that you mentioned here  - the filing of the tax returns, the holding of joint  assets - these are factors that the courts use to determine whether or not you are married under Colorado law should there be a dispute between you.  Typically claiming the other party as a "spouse" simply to gain a private economic advantage (health insurance, joint gym membership, etc), while potentially fraudulent, is not usually sufficient to establish a common law marriage in Colorado. So no, you probably do not have to get a divorce but I would double check with a lawyer in your area just in case. 


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