How do I find out if I’m common law married?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I find out if I’m common law married?

A few years ago my partner and I filed an affidavit of common law so he could be
a dependent of mine under my insurance. We had an ugly break up a couple years
later and I remember filing a paper with my work’s benefit department stating he
was no longer my dependent and he was removed from my insurance. Since then I’ve
gotten a new job. I want to make sure we are no longer common law so I don’t run
into future issues regarding him/ this.

Asked on October 26, 2018 under Family Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The following answer is based on Colorado, since that's the state you specified; we will assume that you were in CO when you filed your "affidavit of common law." If you were not in CO, re-ask your question with the state you were in at the time, since the laws on common law marriage vary by state.
CO does recognize common law marriage. If you both agreed to live as husband and wife and open held yourself out to others as husband and wife--as filing the affidavit would do--you are indeed common law married. Common law marriage is like any other marriage, other than the fact that it is formed without a marriage licene or formal ceremony. That means that you are married until you divorce. So once you enter into a common law marriage--as you apparently did--you must divorce like any other married couple in  other to not be married. You are and will be married until you divorce.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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