Colorado Common Law Marriage
Protect Yourself In the Event of a Colorado Common Law "Divorce"
Believe it or not, the concept of “Common Law Marriage” is still alive and kicking in the State of Colorado! The fact is, many people are tripped up when the ramifications of this legal relic rears its ugly head. This is especially true when two people are getting a Colorado common law “divorce” Here are the “Top 10 Myths About Colorado Common Law Marriage:” (If you don’t see your question answered here ask us for free)
Myth 1: If I am married by common law in Colorado, it won’t
affect my legal rights after a break-up, right?
Wrong. You could
be subjected to the same claims for property division or maintenance
(alimony), as you would face in a traditional divorce.
Myth 2: I can’t be common law married in Colorado unless
I have been cohabitating for 10 years, right?
Wrong. There is
no set time period under Colorado law to be declared common law
Myth 3: It doesn’t matter if my friends
and family think I am married, so long as I know the truth,
Wrong. In a legal
dispute, count on your “ex” to claim otherwise and
get all of his/her buddies to support that claim, especially if
there is money involved. The key is whether you “hold yourself
out” as married, and that vague term can get pretty expensive
to legally prove, one way or the other.
Myth 4: If I have children with my significant
other, I am automatically common law married in Colorado, right?
Wrong. Not necessarily.
The key is whether you hold yourself out as “husband”
Myth 5: I told my insurance carrier that I am
married so my boyfriend/girlfriend can get benefits. This isolated
action can’t hurt me, right?
Wrong. Any public
declarations you make about your marital status can come back
and hurt you later especially if you need to go through a Colorado common law “"divorce."
Myth 6: So what if I am considered to be in a Colorado common law
marriage, I can simply “annul” it, right?
Wrong. If you are
held to be common law married, you will have to go through a full-blown
dissolution of marriage proceeding.
Myth 7: I can’t be common law married in Colorado unless
I have plans to go through with the ceremony, right?
Wrong. You may be considered to be in a Colorado common law marriage even if you and your significant other have never even considered "taking the plunge" publicly.
Myth 8: So what if I filed a joint tax return,
that is a federal issue, and it can’t be used against me in
a state court, right?
Wrong. It can
and almost definitely will be used against you by your ex’s
Myth 9: As long as my relationship with my ex-boyfriend/girlfriend
stays strong, common law marriage doesn’t matter to me, right?
Wrong. If you die
unexpectedly, your significant other may be entitled to inherit
your assets, potentially depriving your biological heirs of a
lot of money.
Myth 10: Okay, so maybe I have a common law situation.
I shouldn’t have to worry about this unless my relationship
is about to end, right?
Wrong. You should
be as informed as possible about your rights, as there are almost
always steps you can take to protect yourself. Be informed,
be cautious, and be proactive!
If you would like to schedule a private and confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys you can do that here.
Back to Early Planning for Divorce