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Making my marriage valid in Colorado

Denver, CO |

I was finalizing my divorce process in Nevada when my current wife and I decided to marry in April 2012 in Colorado. I told her my divorce was already completed prior to us marrying in April 2012. My divorce in Nevada was not really recorded and decreed until January 2013. The state of Colorado clerk/recorders office says according to them our marriage is valid based on the answer of single I stated on the application for marriage at the time we applied. But I wasn't. I lied. Based on me being still married in Nevada and then marrying in Colorado prior to my divorce being finalized, is my Colorado marriage is invalid? If so, do we have to get an annulment and re-apply for a new license and remarry? Or should we just go re-apply for a marriage license and remarry? Or just leave it alone?

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Attorney answers 4


I think your Colorado marriage became valid upon finalization of the Nevada divorce, especially since Colorado recognizes common law marriages. However, I would suggest you get a new license and remarry to be safe. I do not think there is any need to annul your marriage before doing that.

John H. Barrett 728 Pearl St. Boulder Co. 80302 303-443-6924


I think you were not legally available to marry. Thus, you had an invalid marriage. I think you need to get a new license and remarry. I also agree that perhaps you had a common law marriage, but because your "wife"had already given consent when she thought you were legally available to marry, she may not have actually intended to marry when your divorce was final. Also, given your lack of honesty with her, you may have other problems..

Stephen Clark Harkess

Stephen Clark Harkess


I agree with Mr. Littman that if you did not tell your wife the truth then you cannot assume you created a valid common-law marriage when your divorce was final. I believe you will be fine if you tell your wife the truth and she decides she still wants to be married to you, but she will have to make that decision.


If you tell your wife the truth and she stays with you then your marriage is valid at least as of the date your divorce was final and you became eligible to marry. There is nothing else you have to do. If you hide this information from your wife and she later finds out, she may have grounds to invalidate your marriage due to fraud.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


Colorado recognizes common law marriage. The moment your divorce was final in Nevada, you were common law married in Colorado because you both intended to be married and you hold yourself out as married. HOWEVER, if you don't have your wife written in as beneficiary on insurance policies, but you want her to inherit, and for some other miscellaneous benefits, it would be beneficial to you both to solemnize your common law marriage. You may do so by creating and signing an affidavit attesting to the marriage, or by getting a new marriage certificate. I am attaching a link for the state's website to give you some more information.

This legal information is provided for general legal purposes and does not establish a client-attorney relationship. Because of the limited information provided in the question, it is difficult to be certain that Counsel is answering the question correctly. You are encouraged to seek further information from an attorney directly so that follow up questions may be asked if necessary.

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