Do You Deserve Palimony? – Financial Support For Unmarried Breakups

Law Blog

Frequently couples join together in a union that shares many financial similarities to a legal marriage, but for an assortment of reasons they do not legally wed. When a split-up happens, sometimes there are disputes over these financial arrangements.

That is where the idea of palimony was established most notably in an infamous California case, Marvin vs. Marvin. While laws in each state differ, many have been established to protect one or the other of the couples. Below are two descriptions of what palimony is and what it is not. Finally, there are six suggestions addressing things you should take into account in the event you are already at a point where you're considering palimony litigation:

What Palimony Is

Palimony is based on the idea that a partner in an unmarried situation establishes a legal foundation that is supported by financial facts. Upon the breakup of the relationship one partner believes it was either implied, or in some instances guaranteed, in writing, that they are due some form of financial compensation in the event the relationship ends.

What Palimony Is Not

Palimony is not alimony, or child support. The whole concept of palimony is based in the theory that there was no legally binding marriage, and there are no children bore as a result of the union.

Alimony is court ordered payments due a divorced spouse, and child support is money ordered as the result of parental responsibilities. While both are a financial responsibility ordered by a judge, these two are not the same as palimony. Palimony addresses unwed couples that have no children together.

If you're already at the point where palimony is on your mind, you need to sit down with an attorney to discuss the particular laws relative to your state. Here are six things to think about ahead of time.

  • Try to document the exact length of the relationship. Specifically try to provide documents that prove you lived together. The length a couple lives together under the same roof in relationship status can be important in the court's eyes.
  • If there were any agreements signed regarding a promise of financial support, or a division of mutually obtained material possessions, these are essential.
  • Spoken promises or agreements addressing financial support – especially any oral promises that can be collaborated by witnesses, or other evidence - are often strongly considered by the court. These can even include an implied understanding between two partners that one would offer financial support for the other in the event of a breakup.
  • The ability of partners to support themselves after the breakup can also be a mitigating factor considered by the court. Courts will especially address situations where one or the other has quit a job, or ended a career to help support their partner's financial ambitions.
  • While child support of mutual children is not a consideration for palimony, situations where a partner has not worked to build a stable financial foundation because they took care of the other partner's offspring is an important consideration.
  • In a similar context, the courts will frequently contemplate any sacrifices made by a partner to support the other's pursuit of an education, or career advancement. The courts will consider the financial magnitude of the sacrifice as it relates to status, or financial rewards obtained by partner in this career, yet monetary gain is not also the only criteria used.

Write things down before you meet with your lawyer. It will help you keep your thoughts straight surrounding a potentially anxious situation. Plus, it will help you provide your attorney with the most organized series of necessary facts that may prove vital to the success of your case. If you want to know more, contact a company like The Law Office of Cary W. Goldstein, Esq., PC with any questions you have.


29 December 2016

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