Commonlaw marriage is when two people consider themselves married without ever getting a formal, legal marriage certificate. Some states, including Colorado, recognize commonlaw marriage. There are certain elements that must be established to prove the existence of a commonlaw marriage, such as filing taxes as married, holding yourselves out as married to the public, and cohabitation or shared finances. In some instances, one party may assert that there was no marriage, and the other party may assert that there was. A Court can make a finding about the existence or lack of a commonlaw marriage after conducting a hearing and reviewing the evidence.
Although it is fairly easy to begin a commonlaw marriage without involving the Court, commonlaw marriages can only be ended by the same divorce process as a civil marriage. If you have been in a commonlaw marriage and you are seeking to end the marriage or begin a new relationship, consult with experienced attorneys to assess your rights and options.