When Are You Legally Married in Colorado

A common-law marriage in Colorado is another way to get married — an alternative to a ceremonial wedding, where a couple receives a marriage license and then goes through a ceremony. Ultimately, a common-law couple is “just as married” as any other married couple, but may face problems that actually prove their marriage exists. While anyone can choose a symbolic wedding ceremony, each state has its own requirements on how marriage can be legalized. This website is for general information only and not legal advice or expert advice. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that you will be able to get married legally. Similarly, living together without the couple`s real intention to marry is not enough to establish a marriage. A couple who are clearly only together could live together for 20 years or more and be legally only romantic but unmarried. You must also have the “legal capacity” to be married – the same laws that apply to ceremonial marriages apply here. (You cannot be a first cousin or already married to someone else, etc.) Once a couple married in Colorado, the only way to dissolve the marriage would be a formal dissolution of the marriage, annulment, or legal separation. And while they can marry without formalities, all marriages are the same once they are married.

This means that the couple enjoys all the rights, privileges, and headaches of a formal divorce. The factors identified in Lucero and subsequent cases interpreting it are still relevant, but not as a litmus test for determining whether a marriage exists. Rather, courts must consider these factors in determining whether the conduct of the particular couple shows that they intend to enter into marriage. And the court explicitly threw overboard the requirements of cohabitation or the couple who publicly claimed to be married. While these factors may still be relevant to demonstrating the intention of the parties, they are no longer essential requirements for common-law marriage. **SIGN THE LICENSE!** Really the only thing that matters legally. After kissing and before you start popping Champaign, you need to make it official. More than a hundred years ago, a couple living on the plains or mountains rarely saw a civil authority or judge marry, so marriage made logistical sense at common law.

And at the beginning of the 20th century. In the nineteenth century, de facto marriage may have been a way to legitimize an otherwise scandalous relationship – especially when children were involved (“They live together – of course they are married!”) You will need to provide certain information when you apply for a marriage certificate from your local district court (section 14-2-105): The courts will consider a number of factors when making a common law decision about your marriage, although there is no standard for a court to follow – it is up to the judge to decide. Factors a judge may consider include the actions you and your spouse have taken as husband and wife, or husband and wife, or wife and wife, or wife and wife: buying property together, signing deeds together, borrowing together, keeping joint bank accounts, sharing a home, and having children together. These factors could be considered proof of marriage if you were acting as husband and wife (or husband and husband or wife and wife) and you presented yourself as such when you were doing these things. Once it has been established that a common-law marriage exists, there is no difference. The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination against common-law relationships (e.g., offering different benefits to employees in common-law relationships or refusing to rent to common-law married tenants) is unconstitutional. If you have a valid common-law marriage, you should be able to enjoy all the rights and obligations of marriage, including benefits, insurance, annuity and inheritance. While many couples follow a traditional path that includes asking for parental blessing, proposing, publicly declaring an engagement, planning a wedding, and then a ceremony and celebration, none of this is required to be legally married in Colorado. Simply put, if you`re married, you`re married, regardless of how the wedding took place. A common-law partner is no different from other spouses.

A common-law couple has all the same privileges and duties as any other married couple and, legally, there is no difference between a married couple who have undergone a ceremonial marriage and a couple who have entered into a common-law relationship. “We cannot agree with Ms. Tatarcuk that section 14-2-111 allows a person to obtain presumed spouse status if he or she fails to prove the existence of a marriage under common law. Unfortunately for him, when the court applied the old Lucero standard, he concluded that there was no evidence of cohabitation, that the couple had no reputation for marriage in the community, and that the woman`s own parents were unaware of the alleged marriage. Although the trial court found that a marriage was based solely on the common law affidavit of marriage, the Court of Appeal found this insufficient and quashed and ordered the trial court to consider all the evidence for and against the marriage. Once you have your marriage certificate, sign and fill in the details such as date, location, etc. The official is usually responsible for completing the form. But again, Colorado doesn`t require you to have the signature of an official – or witnesses! If you don`t have an officer, ask the county clerk how to fill it out when you pick it up. Not only does Colorado recognize same-sex common-law relationships, but the behavior that leads to marriage may precede Obergefell. This means that if an LGBTQ couple intended to enter into a conjugal relationship before 2015, the court will still consider the marriage valid, even if it was entered into before 2015, when same-sex marriages were legalized. Lafleur.

This may seem inappropriate (as noted by the dissent in LaFleur), but the alternative would deny a gay or lesbian couple equal protection of marriage. Is a common-law couple in Colorado still married if they move to a state without a common-law relationship? Yes – thanks to the U.S. Constitution, which requires states to give “full faith and credence” to the laws of other states, a married couple in Colorado is considered married by the federal government, as well as by any state, including those that do not approve of common-law marriages themselves. Nowadays, it is so easy to get married and the stigma of being an unmarried couple or unmarried parents has evaporated. Thus, although the original reasoning no longer applies, the common-law institution survives. But since you might have trouble proving marriage, a cautious couple wouldn`t rely on them to be married at common law, but would simply get licensed and contract a ceremonial marriage. Does Colorado need a blood test to get married? No, a blood test is not required. The courts consider “living as a married couple” to be acts such as sharing the same surname, sharing finances, identifying as a spouse or planning to marry in the future. The license and certificate are in the same document.

These should not be separated. The license gives the couple permission to marry. The certificate documents when and where the couple got married.

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