I cohabited with my ex-girlfriend for three years before we broke up. She is now threatening to take me to court to prove common law marriage in order to receive alimony.
We have never presented ourselves as a married couple, and we only have one joint account together.
Will she be able to prove common law marriage and force me to pay her alimony?
While I am not licensed to practice in your jurisdiction, I can provide you with some general divorce help for men regarding your divorce question.
With regard to common law marriage in Colorado (where I practice), there is no generic formula or rule to determine the existence of a common law marriage. The court will examine several factors to make this determination.
The court may consider such factors such as whether or not the couple held themselves out as a married couple to their community, whether their finances were commingled, whether the couple intended to be married, used each others last names, had joint accounts and cohabited.
From the information you have provided, it does not appear likely that you were common law married. However, I would want to know more about her possible arguments and if there were any times you ever held yourselves out as a married couple.
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Maintenance (sometimes referred to as alimony) in Colorado can be determined according to several factors as well. The court may consider factors such as the parties’ earning abilities, standard of living during the marriage, physical/mental condition, education of the parties, age, and length or marriage.
Maintenance for very short marriages is not very common but is not unheard of either. In this case however, your ex-girlfriend must first prove that you were even married to begin with.
Again, I am unable to provide you with legal advice on divorce and this should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a mens divorce attorney for financial advice on divorce.