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I have been with my significant other for 26 years.  We have never married.  We own a home together and have some joint accounts.  About 2 years ago he was left a large stock plan from his grandfather.  We are looking at separating/divorcing (unsure what it really is since we aren't legally married).  The deed to the house is in both our names so we planned to split the profit 50/50 along with splitting all the items inside the house equally and the bank accounts.  What we don't know is if I have any rights to half or any of the stocks.  We don't want to have to involve attorneys and are working together to make this a smooth process.  We both work full time though he makes more than me but I raised our daughter primarily and now our granddaughter so we view each other equally.  I have been working from home for 8 years to have more flexibility to help with our aging parents and granddaughter which hasn't allowed me to make as much money as I could in an office job.  I only note that as I read something about Colorado that a judge tends to give more to the person who makes more money.  

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https://coag.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/colorado-office-attorney-general-frequently-asked-questions

 

A common-law marriage in Colorado is valid for all purposes, the same as a ceremonial marriage. Only death or divorce can terminate it. The common-law elements of a valid marriage are that the couples (1) are free to contract a valid ceremonial marriage, i.e., they are not already married to someone else; (2) hold themselves out as husband and wife; (3) consent to the marriage; (4) live together; and (5) have the reputation in the community as being married. The single most important element under the common law was the mutual consent of a couple presently to be husband and wife. All the rest were considered evidence of this consent or exchange of promises. No time requirement exists other than the time necessary to establish these circumstances. When proof of common law marriage is required, such as by an insurance company, a signed affidavit can be presented. A sample affidavit is presented here

Common-law marriage is a term used to describe a marriage that has not complied with the statutory requirements most states have enacted as necessary for a ceremonial marriage. The name came from the fact that these marriages were recognized as valid under the common law of England. In 1877, the United States Supreme Court stated, in an action that questioned the validity of a non ceremonial marriage, that marriages that were valid under common law were still valid unless the state passed a statute specifically forbidding them. Meisher v. Moore, 96 U.S. 76 (1877). Since the Colorado legislature has never enacted such a statute, Colorado is part of the minority of states that recognize the validity of common-law marriages.

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I'm not sure we are actually Common Law married.  We've never filed joint taxes, I've kept my maiden name, we have no intention to marry and we don't acknowledge each other as spouses.  A few years ago I did ask an attorney about it and he said we weren't considered common law as we didn't meet all the requirements.  I do appreciate the info though.  

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11 minutes ago, thessler1 said:

I'm not sure we are actually Common Law married.  We've never filed joint taxes, I've kept my maiden name, we have no intention to marry and we don't acknowledge each other as spouses. 

 

Then you aren't married. Period.

 

And you have no legal claim to any of his sole and separate property unless you can show that there was some contractual arrangement (express or implied) regarding the distribution of separate assets.

 

See IIIB of Salzman v. Bachrach where the Colorado Supreme Court discusses the enforcement of express or implied contracts between non-married cohabitants:

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=8135207633737759653&q=common+law+marriage&hl=en&as_sdt=4,6

 

 

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1 hour ago, thessler1 said:

What we don't know is if I have any rights to half or any of the stocks.

 

You are not because you "aren't legally married."

 

 

1 hour ago, thessler1 said:

I only note that as I read something about Colorado that a judge tends to give more to the person who makes more money.

 

Not sure where you might have read that, but it surely only applies to divorces, which doesn't apply to you since you "aren't legally married."

 

 

1 hour ago, thessler1 said:

Common Law Divorce

 

There is no such thing.

 

There is such a thing as a common law marriage (Colorado is one of a minority of states that still allow common law marriages to be formed), but you indicate that you don't have one (a common law marriage is every bit a "legal marriage" as a ceremonial marriage).

 

 

1 hour ago, thessler1 said:

I'm not sure we are actually Common Law married.

 

Then you aren't.  Contrary to an apparently popular belief, you cannot form a common law marriage by accident (or by simply living together for some period of time).  If you had formed a common law marriage, you'd know it.

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