Legal Question in Family Law in Colorado

I live in Colorado, where I have been in a committed relationship for almost 16 years. In 2004 my parents co-signed a mortgage loan with this man and the legal person who was in charge of the paperwork informed us that having my parents co-sign with him constituted an agreement of marriage and accepting them as In Laws. Then in 2009 we had a spiritual "hand fasting" where we acknowledged each other as husband and wife. Then in 2014 we filed a bankruptcy and were once again told this is a legal form of marriage.

Now that he wants a divorce he claims we've only been married for 2 years.

In a state that recognizes common law, I'm curious as to when the law would consider us being married?

Any advice?

Asked on 12/22/16, 8:42 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Stephen Harkess Colorado Legal Solutions

It depends on what you can prove. You may be able to argue for a longer time than he wants.

Filing a joint bankruptcy petition clearly establishes a marriage because the alternative is bankruptcy fraud. The hand-fasting ceremony might establish an earlier date and is also some evidence that you were NOT married before 2009. The "advice" of the "legal person" is the weakest argument for a marriage as their advice is wrong and it is unclear who they are.

If the date of your marriage is important to the outcome of your divorce, you should work with an experienced attorney to establish an appropriate date. There are other factors that may strengthen your claim for an earlier date.

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Answered on 12/26/16, 10:07 am

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