The state Court of Appeals says a 15-year-old girl can enter into a valid common-law marriage in Colorado.
A three-judge panel of the court stopped short of setting a minimum age in its ruling today. But it said under English common law, which Colorado recognizes, common-law marriages could be legal at 12 for girls and 14 for boys.
For traditional ceremonial marriage, Colorado law sets the minimum age at 18, or at 16 with parental consent or a judge's approval.
The ruling overturned a lower court judge who said a girl was too young to marry at age 15. The girl is now older than 18 and is married to a 38-year-old man.
The Court of Appeals sent the case back to the trial judge to determine whether the two have a valid marriage.