A marriage license is not necessary to be considered married in Colorado. Colorado courts may consider you to have a common law marriage if you and your partner meet the following requirements: 1) you both are at least eighteen years of age; 2) you live together; 3) you both agree to be married; and 4) you represent yourself to the public as married. You do NOT need to live together for a minimum amount of time, as may be required in some of the other states.
What factors does a Colorado court consider?
When determining if a common law marriage exists between you and your partner, a Colorado court may consider factors such as if you and your partner file joint tax returns, have joint finances, own joint property, tell third parties you are married, share a surname, and list each other as spouses on insurance forms or retirement plans.
Is a Common Law Marriage in Colorado recognized outside of Colorado?
If Colorado considers you to have a common law marriage, the marriage will be recognized by the federal government and all other states, including those states which do not recognize common law marriages.
If I want to end a common law marriage, do I have to get a divorce?
Since a common law marriage is recognized by the Colorado courts, you are subject to the same legal requirements and restrictions as marriages recognized through a marriage license. If you choose to end the marriage, you will need to undergo a divorce or a legal separation; otherwise, the courts will continue to recognize the marriage as valid.