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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11696
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Hi; I need to solemnize a Colorado Common Law marriage from

Resolved Question:

Hi; I need to solemnize a Colorado Common Law marriage from 2011; Can you guide me through the process? We have notarized acknowledgment from our minister and supporting documents. My husband has passed away in a non-common law state and I understand having or making more valid our common law marriage may aid in my being able to receive the basic benefits due to myself (with minor child). I have also been told that Colorado Law actually do apply in the courts in a non-common law state.
Submitted: 1 year ago via USmarriagelaws.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Just to be clear, you were married in Colorado (even if not officially), and you lived in Colorado as man and wife for some time?

ScottyMacEsq :

(but he died in another state)?

Customer:

Yes sir :(

ScottyMacEsq :

What state was he residing in at the time of his death?

Customer:

:( Florida

ScottyMacEsq :

Were you residing with him, or did you stay in Colorado?

Customer:

Our marriage began in Colorado; we had gone back to Florida and started a shares corporation [for our future]~ We were in Colorado to look for a home/property and to be recognized by a friend there. The acknowledgement of being married happened while we were there. My research shows that there is no residency requirement in Denver, as such... we have lived the committed relationship since that time; our married name is XXXXX XXXXX receipt (via his effort) [dated] December 31, 2011~ yes we have filed married filing jointly

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you. Yes, a marriage that was entered into in a common law state will be recognized in Florida, even though Florida is not a common law state. 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.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now the only way to recognize this post mortem is through a probate action that finds you were his common law spouse.

ScottyMacEsq :

(since he is incapable of signing an affidavit)

Customer:

Any chance you know what that probate action is called?

ScottyMacEsq :

It's an application for probate.

ScottyMacEsq :

Either intestate (without a will) or testate (with a will).

Customer:

I am soooo ready to file an indigent form and file a petition on my own; The marriage information is to be recorded and certified (I did read it to the clerk) ~

Customer:

intestate...

ScottyMacEsq :

This would be the method to get any titled assets into your name, as well as transfer any other assets that are in his name to yours.

Customer:

although he had a written will, of which, my dumb butt does not have.

Customer:

Any chance you know how to stand strong against an attorney that refuses to acknowledge a 'surviving spouse?'

ScottyMacEsq :

Since you have the burden of proving those elements, you would need to show any witnesses, etc... that could establish them.

Customer:

I am prepared to stand alone with certified and notarized documents.

ScottyMacEsq :

But with the evidence, that's how you overcome someone contesting it.

Customer:

And any chance you can refer me to the Volunteer Lawyer's Project in Denver?

Customer:

Do you know 'the other way' to make more valid this marriage in Colorado?

ScottyMacEsq :

What other way?

ScottyMacEsq :

I only mentioned probate being "the only way" at this point, post mortem.

Customer:

I don't know; Judge hasn't answered me yet. Not fun.

Customer:

But thank you.

ScottyMacEsq :

It's unlikely that you will hear back from the judges, as judges typically don't get involved in cases unless they're already filed.

Customer:

can I ask something else though? (If you have the time.)

ScottyMacEsq :

Sure.

ScottyMacEsq :

(I can only answer it if it's in the scope of the original question, otherwise you would need to ask a new one per JustAnswer terms of service)

Customer:

How to explain the valid facts for people who haven't filed their own taxes? I stand alone against a group that doesn't understand the reason to file taxes (they haven't in years)

Customer:

[My education and being a registered Tax Professional have guided me to this valid common law marriage) [Bachelors Legal Studies: Specialization, Litigation and Advocacy]

ScottyMacEsq :

What is this group and what does that pertain to common law marriage?

Customer:

So they can contest all they want, as long as I have supporting documents to prove the marriage? (I know I don't have to alter our tax returns; at this point I have asked for any tax information to be forwarded to me) ... My husband passed away in the passenger seat of our work truck, next to his half-brother; the police report notes that he passed long enough previous to be showing signs of rigor mortis; Autopsy report states he passed closer to 1PM rather than 9PM (when the brother stopped for 'help') ....

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, I don't know who "they" are...

Customer:

The brother and his wife (our 1099 employees) do not know ours is a recognized shares corporation; they just pretend I don't exist.

ScottyMacEsq :

I see.

Customer:

there are 5 half brothers and sisters who have decided to open probate without me; I have objected and amended the objection... Judge says ... out of the sandbox... find an attorney. Of course I am indigent.

ScottyMacEsq :

so probate has been filed…

Customer:

I'd hope Judge read the facts and has seen the supporting documents; although the brother has done many things that are irrevocable... he has been given the 'letters' and is now working the business under the table... of which, I hold a small percentage...

Customer:

as surviving spouse I matter but even Judge is having a hard time; it's horrible... I understand, as surviving spouse, I am due an elective share...

Customer:

motions of claim have been filed.

Customer:

Are you an attorney? I am pro se~ I need pro bono help in the worst way....

ScottyMacEsq :

I would get as much information as possible together, as well as affidavits, and deliver them to the other side as well as the judge. That might be enough, but to be honest, having an attorney would be better. I would suggest that you continue to seek attorneys through legal aid to assist you and contact the local bar association, etc... to see if someone can assist you pro bono.

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes, I am an attorney, but we are absolutely prohibited from representing any customers on this site.

Customer:

*sighs*

ScottyMacEsq :

I wish I could help you further, but we can only answer legal questions.

Customer:

ONE MORE~ My mother wishes to write and notarize her conversation with my husband... can she?

ScottyMacEsq :

She can do that in an affidavit, yes.

ScottyMacEsq :

(a notarized affidavit regarding the content of the conversation)

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

(we do have a couple friends that want to write as well; they are aware of 'my husband's wishes that his brother NOT be in charge... as such, "a notarized affidavit of the content of the conversation"

Customer:

)

Customer:

good greif ~ I can and will get through this~ ... oh, and here is an interesting question pertaining to the subject~ Can our friends through an international web-radio attest as a community?

ScottyMacEsq :

Third last question? >

ScottyMacEsq :

That's hard to say.

Customer:

WOW Mister Sir~ Thank you.

ScottyMacEsq :

It's possible, although traditionally it's the community.

ScottyMacEsq :

..the community where you live.

Customer:

There are many who are upset; his half-kin don't want to have a service for my husband... this urn is dusty and all I've been asked for (via attorney) is keys to an RV

ScottyMacEsq :

Furthermore, it would be difficult for that to be admissible evidence, unless they would be willing to travel and be subject to cross examination by opposing attorneys

ScottyMacEsq :

(basically if it's objected to, that probably would not be admissible evidence)

Customer:

oooh, boy; well~ I must stand strong.

ScottyMacEsq :

Absolutely.

Customer:

Thank you.

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~40 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

:D

ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11696
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
ScottyMacEsq and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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