What to know about palimony in California

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2024 | Family Law

Palimony attorney, Marc Garelick

The Pew Research Center reported in 2019 that 44.59% of American adults had cohabitated with a romantic partner outside of marriage. Many people decide to forego the formalities of marriage while living in a marriage-like relationship.

However, this type of arrangement does not have as many protections for the parties if the relationship ends. For those living in California, there is the option of palimony, but it requires taking proactive steps.

Palimony explained

Palimony is not a legal term, but it refers to the paying of financial support to a partner after the end of a long-term, non-marital relationship. Such an arrangement typically arises when one partner has made significant contributions to the other’s life, either financially or through non-monetary contributions, and the relationship dissolves.

The basis for claiming palimony

Palimony is not like spousal support. The rules regarding it come from a court case, Marvin v. Marvin.  To make a claim for payment, there must be a valid and legally enforceable agreement between the partners. It is best to have the agreement in writing because it can become challenging to prove the existence and terms without written documentation.

Proper palimony agreement contents

The agreement should outline the financial expectations and responsibilities of each partner. It may cover the sharing of assets. It should also outline financial support plans and any other relevant commitments. A palimony agreement must reflect the intentions of both partners accurately. It should contain explicit details about financial arrangements and expectations. The document should be a roadmap that can guide decisions if the relationship ends.

Having a valid palimony agreement can make a significant difference in protecting the interests of individuals seeking financial support. The court will typically enforce these agreements, which ensures a fair resolution and prevents disputes from escalating into lengthy and costly legal proceedings.