Common Law Marriage and Invalidity

Common Law Marriage

Colorado is one of the few states to still recognize common law marriages. This means that you can enter a marriage without a marriage license. People often ask if they might be in a common law marriage when they have lived with a significant other for an extended period of time and own property together. Surprisingly, how long you have lived together and whether you own property together, or have children together do not matter at all.

Common law marriage, at the most basic level, is nothing more than a man and a woman agreeing to be married. There does not have to be a contract or anything written, not even a verbal agreement is necessary. There simply has to be an understanding between the spouses. Generally, a court will try to determine whether you and your significant other were living in the same residence and also whether you were holding yourselves out to the community as husband and wife. Just living together may not qualify as a common law marriage, you also should be known as a married couple by your friends.

Some clients believe that divorce is a more simplified process when dealing with a common law marriage, but this is not the case. If your relationship qualifies as a common law marriage all the same legal implications of a licensed marriage apply.

Annulment or Invalidity

If you have a marriage license, you are probably in a valid marriage. However, there are grounds on which a marriage may be invalidated, meaning that the license will be cancelled and the marriage will be treated like it never happened. Grounds include; lack of consent, underage without parental consent, misrepresentation, and duress.
If you think your marriage might be invalid you should consult an attorney. If you have children, or you have property or debts there will be some issues that must be resolved regarding how your property and debts are to be divided and your children parented if your marriage is found to be invalid.

Call Today For A Free Consultation

Our Northern Colorado family law firm offers free initial consultations to new clients. Please call us today at 970-624-6060.