How Long is Common Law Marriage in Colorado? Unraveling the Duration Mystery

Common law marriage in Colorado is a topic that often sparks curiosity and confusion. While many people believe it’s simply about living together for a certain period, the reality is more complex. In Colorado, common law marriage requires three key elements: cohabitation, an agreement to be married, and holding yourselves out as a married couple in public.

You might wonder how long it takes for a common law marriage to be legally recognized in Colorado. Surprisingly, there’s no specific timeframe set by the state for this type of union. Instead, the length of cohabitation is just one factor among many that courts may consider when determining whether a common law marriage exists. To better understand your situation and rights, it’s essential to grasp the nuances of Colorado’s common law marriage laws.

Understanding Common Law Marriage in Colorado

Common Law Marriage is a unique concept in the state of Colorado, and it is important to understand its definition and legal recognition.

Definition and Requirements

In Colorado, a common-law marriage is formed when a couple mutually agrees to be married1. There are no licensing, wedding ceremonies, or documentation required for a common-law marriage to be lawful2. Both partners must:

  • Be over 18 years old3
  • Live mutually and openly as a married couple4
  • Intend to enter a marital relationship4

These factors, combined with a shared life in a committed relationship, establish the foundation for a common-law marriage.

Legal Recognition

Colorado fully acknowledges and treats common-law marriages as lawful and binding2. Couples in a common-law marriage have the same privileges, rights, and responsibilities as those in a traditional, licensed marriage2. Being in a common-law marriage enables you to have access to your partner’s health benefits, jointly own property, and even inherit assets in case of death.

It should be noted that thelength of a common-law marriage in Colorado is not predefined, as the required elements revolve around mutual agreements and intentions to be married4. Once these conditions are met, you can consider yourself as part of a lawful common-law marriage.


  1. Colorado Common Law Marriage | Colorado Family Law Guide 
  2. FAQs About Common Law Marriage in Colorado – CNL Law Firm  2 3
  3. Colorado Marriage Laws – Findlaw 
  4. What is Common Law Marriage in Colorado? | Colorado Legal Services  2 3

Duration of Common Law Marriage

Minimum Time Requirement

There is no specific minimum time requirement for a common law marriage to be recognized in Colorado. Couples must demonstrate the intention to enter into a marital relationship and share a life together as spouses1.

No Maximum Time Limit

Similarly, there is no maximum time limit for a common law marriage. You can be in a long-term relationship without being considered married under common law if you don’t fulfill the requirements to establish a common law marriage2.

Remember, YOU play a crucial role in establishing the validity of your common law marriage. Be sure about the criteria, and represent your partnership accordingly.



Termination of Common Law Marriage

Common law marriage in Colorado is a legal marital status, similar to ceremonial marriages. It can be terminated through two primary ways: Divorce and Death. This section explores these processes for ending a common law marriage.

Divorce Process

To terminate a common law marriage through divorce, you’ll follow the same procedures as a traditional marriage. It involves filing for dissolution of marriage in Colorado courts. Just like any other divorce, the cost and complexity can vary.

However, be prepared to prove your marital status if it comes up. This might include demonstrating MUTUAL CONSENT or open assumption of a marital relationship.

Remember, the divorce process can be emotionally and financially challenging. Seek professional assistance to guide you through this difficult time.

Death of a Partner

In unfortunate circumstances where a partner passes away, the common law marriage is terminated by death. The SURVIVING SPOUSE will need to provide evidence of their common law marriage for legal matters related to inheritance, property rights, and other benefits.

To prove your common law marriage, present documents like joint tax returns, jointly-held property, or any other evidence showing a mutual and open assumption of the marital relationship.

Keep in mind, when dealing with the death of a partner, it’s important to seek legal counsel to protect your rights and navigate complexities surrounding inheritance.

Aspects like the divorce process and the death of a partner are crucial when understanding the termination of a common law marriage in Colorado. Always consult with professionals to ensure the best possible outcome in these situations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *