Additionally, Colorado does not require that the parties co-habitate for a period of time in order to establish a common law marriage, nor does cohabitation alone establish a common law marriage. Instead, cohabitation and the parties holding themselves to others as husband and wife constitute proof that a common law marriage exists. A common law marriage cannot exist if either party is married to another person.
In order to dissolve a common law marriage, the parties must dissolve the marriage in the same way that a married couple who had a traditional legal ceremony and marriage license. In Colorado, this requires complying with the requirements of the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act.
If one party claims that there is a valid common law marriage that must be dissolved and the other party asserts there is no common law marriage, the issue of whether the marriage exists is a factual determination that must be made by the domestic relations court. Factors the court may consider when determining whether a common law marriage exists include: whether the parties introduced themselves as husband and wife to others, whether the woman uses the man’s last name, cohabitation between the parties, whether they were on a health insurance policy as husband and wife, the filing of joint tax returns and other joint financial documents, such as joint bank accounts, joint ownership of real property, and mutual financial support.
If the Court determines that one party did not consent to the marriage, than there is no common law marriage.