When it comes to legal separations and divorce , most people think of the world alimony. However, there is something similar that exists and works in a similar way called palimony. Palimony is when you receive alimony like payments for unmarried partners, who lived together for a time and then separate. Palimony was created in 1976 in a case called Marvin vs Marvin. An actor by the name of Lee Marvin was sued by his then time girlfriend for a financial sum due to an agreement they had while they were living together. Once they split up, Lee was then ordered to pay half of what he made to his former girlfriend. In more recent times courts made a couple establish a signed and notarized document that lists and details assets and what is expected of the parties while they live together.
People who are filing for palimony need to understand that this does not apply in a divorce. The rules are different and do not apply in instances where couples did not get married. Palimony is only ordered in certain cases for couples who have been living together for an extended amount of time. California does not recognize common-law marriages. Therefore, no court will consider a case based on the sole reasons of two people lived together and one has a higher or lower income than their partner at the end of their relationship. However, in the event of a contracted promise, the court could force the opposing side to pay. Both oral and written contracts are hard to prove and often times the courts will dismiss them in any event for couples who are not nor were ever married.
Before moving in with someone long term it may be a good idea to draw up a cohabitation agreement. In doing so you can freely and openly discuss what it expected of both partners financially, in case the relationship goes sour and you find yourself splitting up. While it’s almost like a prenuptial agreement between married couples, it does ensure that if and when that occurs you aren’t forced to support your ex financially. If you feel that you need help drawing up a legal documentation or discussing your rights and what you should include then you can contact the Law Office of Anne Dowden Saxton walk you through the process and help you fill out the correct paper work or draw up a binding contract that will fit your needs.