Are you married? When did you get married? In Colorado, people may not know the answers to these simple questions. That is because we are in a Common Law Marriage state. Whether you are married is an issue of facts.
It’s not just whether you were married seven years — that is not the standard. Whether or not a couple is married includes an examination of facts such as:
— Are you cohabitating (living together)?
— Do you hold each other out as “husband” and “wife” in public?
— Did you complete a form that indicates that you are married?
— Do you share bank accounts?
— Do you list each other as beneficiaries on your insurance and other benefits programs?
The truth is that many of my clients did not know they were married until they broke up and their former partner sued them for divorce. Or, similarly, they found out they were “married” 20 years earlier than they thought. Common Law Marriage is not just a ceremony in a church or synagogue or a marriage certificate.
You could have been common law married years earlier, and if you divorce, owe maintentence or half of appreciated property values going back to an earlier estate.
A well-written cohabitation agreement will protect you from being “accidentally married.” This protects your rights as a couple, as well as your rights and assets as an individual.
Andersen Law PC: When I write your cohabitation agreement, I protect your family, your finances and your future.