Does Colorado Recognize Common Law Marriage?

Denver Divorce Lawyer Answers Questions About Common Law Marriage

Colorado is in the minority of states that legally recognize common law marriage, or marriages that are valid despite not having a state-issued marriage license. Listen to our Colorado divorce attorney explain what a common law marriage is, when the state of Colorado considers a couple common law married and whether a common law marriage is different from a marriage with a certificate during divorce.

If you have any questions about common law marriage and getting a divorce in Colorado, call our Denver family law attorneys at (720) 386-9176.

Video Transcript:

Colorado does recognize common law marriages. In order to be common law married in the state of Colorado, two things must occur: You must live together, and you must hold yourself out to the community as being married. Courts often look to joint credit card statements, joint rental agreements, joint ownership and other things to establish that you are holding yourself out as being married.

Examples of holding yourself out as being married in the community may involve telling your employer you are married [or] referring to the person you are living with as your spouse.

There is no time requirement for you to be common law married. It could happen within a month, or it could take 20 years. The focus is not on the time, the focus is on the intent of the parties and whether they are representing themselves as being married.

In Colorado there is no legal difference between someone who is common law married and married through a marriage certificate, each person has the same legal rights when it comes to a divorce proceeding. To speak to one of our attorneys, go to

Divorce Matters® is a Denver Colorado divorce attorney law firm. We provide information and services including the divorce process through the courts, division of marital property, assets as well as debts and parental rights regarding biological and adopted children.

Our highly-accomplished divorce and family law attorneys practice throughout Colorado, including:

Adams County (Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Thornton, Westminster); Arapahoe County (Aurora, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Littleton); Boulder County; Broomfield County; Denver County; Douglas County (Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker); Elbert County (Elizabeth, Kiowa); and Jefferson County (Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, Morrison, Wheat Ridge).