My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
Common law marriage is very difficult to prove. In most of the cases I found, there wasn't sufficient evidence to support it. Another problem with finding case law is that your regular family law
cases usually don't get reported. The books of case law only include cases that went up on appeal, which is a small percentage of the total cases. But, that doesn't mean that it's impossible to prove common law marriage. I did find a case where the woman was able to prove common law marriage, but I will point out that it's from nearly 100 years ago. Smith v. People
, 64 Colo. 290, 170 P. 959 (Colo. 1918).
Although the court did not specifically find a common law marriage in People v. Lucero
, this case actually gives a pretty good explanation of what the parties would need to establish and ways to show that a common law marriage exists. Even though it's a criminal case, the discussion applies to other contexts. You may want to take a look.
The best way to do extensive research on this issue is to visit a local law library that will have access to LexisNexis or Westlaw. Those systems include far more cases than you would ever find online. The law librarian may also be able to point you at some books or law review articles on common law marriages, either of which would have a lot of case cites to get you pointed in the right direction. The librarian can also help you find recent cases that cite Smith v. People, which could prove useful.