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Common Law Same-Sex Marriage - Supreme Court grants cert in In re Marriage of Hogsett and Neal.

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

On September 30, 2019, the Colorado Supreme Court accepted certiorari in the case of In re Marriage of Hogsett and Neal, 2019SC44.

In re Marriage of Hogsett and Neal presents issues of first impression regarding how common law same-sex marriage is established. This issue is of critical importance to same-sex couples in Colorado, especially in light of the US Supreme Court opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015), which found that the right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and that under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right.

The Colorado Supreme Court accepted certiorari on the following two issues:

1. What factors should a court consider in determining whether a common law marriage exists between same-sex partners?

2. Whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s conclusion that no common law marriage existed between the same-sex couple here.


The Supreme Court also invited amicus briefs from the following organizations:

The Colorado LGBT Bar Association

The Colorado Bar Family Law Section

Colorado Legal Services

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers


The Court of Appeals decision that is being reviewed in the Supreme Court can be found here.

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