A putative spouse in Colorado is a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with another person when he has not been legally married to the other person, but in the good faith belief that he was married to the person.
It is not enough for you to have cohabited with another person in a relationship, in order for you to be considered a putative spouse. You must actually believe that you were married to that person.
Typically, you find putative spouses in those cases in which a person gets married, while technically being married to someone else. For instance, say that you are married to a person who is divorced, but learn later that the previous marriage had not technically ended at all. In such cases, you may be considered a putative spouse, and there are rights that the law confers on you.
In Colorado, a putative spouse is eligible for many of the rights enjoyed by a legally married spouse. That means that you will be eligible for maintenance, your rights in terms of property division, and other types of rights.
Remember, you cannot be considered a putative spouse if you knew that the other party was already married before you married him or her. Knowledge of the previous marriage immediately nullifies any claim that you may have of being a putative spouse.
These are complex matters, and often very complicated to resolve. They require an in-depth understanding of Colorado laws, and earlier precedents in handling such cases.
If you believe that your spouse did not end his earlier marriage and that you are a putative spouse, contact us for a free consultation.