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What Is Palimony?

PALIMONY text in search bar. Bookkeeping clerk looking for something at laptop. PALIMONY concept.

The term “palimony” may not be as commonly known as “alimony,” but it can play a crucial role in the world of family law, particularly for couples who have lived together without getting married. While the concept is recognized in many different states across the country, the term itself in its modern usage originated right here in Southern California, in a 1970s court case involving the actor Lee Marvin. Below, we talk about what palimony is and how it works today, including how it differs from alimony and what you need to know if you’re considering seeking or are potentially liable for palimony payments. For help with divorce or related matters in Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley, contact Blasser Law to review your situation with a team of knowledgeable and experienced Claremont family law attorneys.

Understanding Palimony

Palimony refers to financial support or property division between unmarried partners following the end of their relationship. It is similar to alimony, which is financial support one spouse might be required to pay to the other after a divorce. However, while alimony is a concept deeply ingrained in marriage laws, palimony arises from the principles of contract law and equity, as it applies to couples who were never legally married.

The Legal Basis for Palimony

Palimony is not governed by family law statutes in the same way that alimony is. Instead, it is based on the idea that even though a couple was not married, they may have entered into an implicit or explicit agreement regarding financial support or property division. These agreements can be verbal or written, and they might include promises of lifelong support, sharing of property, or other financial arrangements.

To establish a claim for palimony, the person seeking support must generally prove that:

  1. A cohabitation relationship existed.
  2. There was an agreement (either verbal or written) for financial support or property division.
  3. One party relied on this agreement to their detriment. such as by giving up a legal right or something of value, like the pursuit of a career.
  4. The other party has the ability to pay.

Palimony vs. Alimony

While both palimony and alimony involve financial support following the end of a relationship, there are key differences:

  • Marital Status: Alimony only applies to married couples who are divorcing, while palimony is for unmarried couples who are separating.
  • Legal Basis: Alimony is based on family law statutes, while palimony is rooted in contract law principles.
  • Proof of Agreement: In palimony cases, the claimant must prove the existence of an agreement for support, which is not a requirement in alimony cases.

Factors Influencing Palimony Awards

The amount and duration of palimony payments can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case. Factors that may influence a palimony award include:

  • The length of the relationship.
  • The standard of living during the relationship.
  • The contributions of each partner to the relationship, including non-financial contributions.
  • The financial needs and resources of each partner.
  • Any agreements or promises made during the relationship.

Contact Blasser Law for Help With Divorce and Separation in Claremont and Southern California

If you are considering seeking palimony or believe you may be liable for palimony payments, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney. At Blasser Law, we understand the complexities of palimony cases and are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to our clients in Southern California. Our experienced attorneys can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and work toward a fair resolution.

If you find yourself in a situation where palimony may be a factor or are dealing with divorce or other family law matters in Los Angeles or the San Gabriel Valley, call Blasser Law in Claremont at 877-927-2181.

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