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Colorado allows parties to enter into a common law marriage.   Contrary to popular belief, there is no time requirement for a common law marriage.  Therefore, you do not have to live together for seven years before you can have a common law marriage. Plus, just merely living together for seven years will not result in a common law marriage, unless parties conduct themselves as husband and wife.

A common law marriage is established by both parties agreeing to be husband and wife, evidenced by their conduct, and followed by their mutual and open assumption of a marital relationship.  Therefore, if two people want to be husband and wife and therefore live together, commingle their finances as husband and wife, and hold themselves out to the public as husband and wife they will most likely have a common law marriage.

However, once you have a common law marriage, there is not a "common law divorce."  Therefore, if parties want to dissolve their common law marriage they will need to go through the divorce process. Moreover, if one party wants to dispute whether there was a common law marriage, a court will have to determine whether there was a common law marriage by analyzing the parties conduct.  The court will look at various factors that would support a common law marriage.  For example below are some of the factors a court will consider:

  • Are they living together;
  • Did the woman take the man's last name;
  • Do they use their "married" name for their utilities;
  • Do they list each other as their spouse for insurance purposes;
  • Do they file joint tax returns as husband and wife;
  • Do they introduce each other to other people as husband and wife; and
  • If they own property, is it titled in both of their names?

Therefore, entering into a common law marriage is very easy.  However, it can only happen if each party agrees to be husband wife and then acts as husband and wife in public.

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).

Will is very attentive to his clients. I never had to wait more than a couple hours to get a reply to questions I had. He took the time to learn my case inside and out. He truly cares about his clients and their cases. - Brian, June 2015

Will is an excellent attorney with a lot of experience under his belt. We had several court appearances in Douglas County for my DUI case, and Will thoroughly prepared me for each appearance and the likely results. He is clearly respected by the court...read more

"I was referred to Divorce Matters by a friend of mine. I contacted other lawyers who advertised gay friendly / same sex relationships...they never called back. From the first phone call and even still, their level of customer service has been great...read more

"Kathlyn helped me through the most difficult time in my life. She not only understands the law, but she knows how to connect with people on a human level. She really kept me informed on what was going on and would make sure I was informed before...read more

"Mr. Smith’s positive attitude and knowledge is impeccable. He has personally led me through some very difficult situations where my future fate seemed unrecoverable. His guidance and hard work have far exceeded my wildest dreams...read more

"Kathlyn is a hard worker and smarter than almost any other attorney I know. She is also patient and explains everything very well! She is also very connected in the community both legally and personally - and has professional contacts in nearly every jurisdiction." - Amy, July 2013

"I hired Will to help me with a dispute. He quickly resolved the issue to my satisfaction and explained the process to me." - Client, July 2013

Mr. Smith is a tireless advocate for his clients. I highly recommend his services. - Craig

Kathlyn makes the process as easy as possible and her laugh, cheery voice and calm presence got me through many days. I would highly recommend Kathlyn Laraway, Divorce Matters and the entire staff. - Eric

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Kathlyn Laraway
William E. Smith
Kristi Paschall
Denise Gonzales
Jason Wolfe
Bridget Finn
Ashley Balicki
Douglas A. Thomas
720.542.6142 T
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Divorce Matters
5600 South Quebec St., Suite 220-A
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 720.542.6142
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