There are two methods to get married in Colorado—adhere to the traditional process summarized by the Colorado Revised statutes or take part in a common law marriage.
Common Law Marriage
Colorado is one of a handful of states remaining which still permits participants to take part in a common law marriage—or a marriage without official rites (Graham, “Common Law Marriage”). Because a Colorado common law divorce does not exist, if the couple separates, they also benefit from every right, privilege, and heartache of an official Colorado divorce or lawful parting. Attempting to marry again without an official divorce would be bigamy and causes the second marriage to be void!
Criteria for a Common Law Marriage
The Colorado divorce courts, with in excess of one-hundred years of lawful judgments to employ, decide whether Colorado will acknowledge that a common law marriage is existent (Graham “Colorado Common Law Marriage Requirements”). The couple should be as follows:
- Jointly concur to be married
- Explicitly consider themselves publicly as married
Colorado has approved the Uniform Marriage Act, C.R.S. 14-2-101, et seq (Graham, “Ceremonial Marriage”). Therefore, the Colorado constitutional processes participants should adhere to so to marry could appear recognizable to those who have been married in outside Colorado.
Traditional marriage is what many individuals imagine when marrying and differs from common law marriages, which are acknowledged in Colorado as well.
Methods to Obtain a Traditional Marriage
- Get a marriage license
- Have a formal marriage ceremony
- Get the marriage license registered with the county clerk and recorder within sixty days of the formal marriage ceremony
A divorce can be filed in Colorado if the marriage is permanently destroyed (Howard, “Divorce Basics in Colorado”). This means that reconciliation is impossible. As the sole basis for divorce in Colorado, both parties do not have to establish evidence of fault.
Residency Condition and Waiting Interval
No less than one spouse should be a Colorado resident for at most ninety days before filing for divorce and the petition can be filed in either spouse’s residing county. You should then delay no less than ninety days prior to a judge granting your divorce.
Since Colorado is an equitable division state, the judge is not required to split your marital property evenly, but rather can split it based on what is reasonable. Marital property is some property, as well as earnings, that the spouses obtained throughout the marriage. The court will examine numerous aspects to decide how property must be split like each spouses’ contribution to the marital estate—as well as a spouse’s role as a family manager—the marital property’s financial worth, each spouse’s financial situation, and whether each spouse added individual property to the marriage. Individual property is some property that you obtained prior to marriage or through inheritance, and it is not dependent on the court’s division.
Child support in Colorado is computed based on both parents’ earnings and resumes until your child becomes a high-school graduate or turns nineteen years old. You can approximate the amount of child support you are expected to compensate or obtain on the Colorado Judicial Branch website. The support amount could be modified based on the amount of time the child expends with each parent, some unexpected medical costs, or work-connected childcare expenditure. Additionally, the court could charge at least one pare to offer support for the child’s university education. You could ask for an alteration of the support order if either parent’s earnings adjust considerably or if the child’s requirements alter. The Colorado Child Support Enforcement Program guarantees that parents are fulfilling their support duties to their children.
Colorado courts persuade parents to split the duty of parenting and will create custody orders based on the child’s best interest. This indicates that the court will take into account issue as well as the parents’ desires, the child-parents relationship, the child’s change to home, school, and community, and the parents’ capacity to promote connection between the child and the other parent. The court will not alter the custody order unless the parents concur or the situation of the child or parents considerably changes. If one parent wishes to relocate with the child, judges will examine the parent’s motive and whether the relocation is in everyone’s best interest.