Common-Law Marriage

A common-law marriage in Colorado is valid for all purposes, the same as a ceremonial marriage and it can only be terminated by death or divorce. Common-law spouses may file jointly, if they filed jointly on their federal tax return. 

To be considered common-law married, the couple must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Both are free to contract a valid ceremonial marriage (e.g. they are not already married to someone else)
  • Holds themselves out as spouses
  • Cohabits - lives together at the same permanent address
  • Has the reputation in the community as being married 
  • Mutual consent of the couple presently to be spouses