Who Can Receive “Palimony” in California?

Most people have heard of alimony, which is when one spouse is court-ordered to make financial payments to the other spouse for a designated length of time. Alimony was created to fairly allow two parties to go their separate ways. Palimony is a similar concept; however, it’s only for partners who aren’t married.

California does not allow common law marriage, but it will sometimes recognize common law marriages if they were entered into under another state’s laws. Additionally, California will sometimes recognize agreements made between two unmarried parties, such as in a cohabitation agreement.

If you and your partner have entered into a written agreement where one has agreed to provide financial support to the other should the relationship come to an end, you may be able to receive palimony payments in California.

Who Can Receive Palimony Payments?

Not every person can receive palimony payments. Otherwise, every couple who breaks up could claim the other person promised them financial support. Palimony payments originated in a court case in California where one partner claimed the other partner had promised to pay her financial support for life.

The woman stated that she had given up her own career in order to take care of her partner and support him in his career. The court decided that it will consider ordering palimony payments so long as there is evidence that an agreement was entered into between long-term partners.

Typically, the length of the relationship and evidence of financial dependence will play a role in whether you can receive palimony payments.

What Factors Does the Court Consider When Deciding on Palimony Payments?

Family court does not decide palimony payments. Rather, these types of cases are handled in civil court. The court will look at several factors when deciding whether one partner should be required to pay financial support to the other for a time.

Here are some of the factors the court might consider:

  • The length of the partnership or cohabitation
  • Written agreements, such as cohabitation agreements, regarding financial support
  • Any types of proven sacrifices one party made for the other—for instance, giving up a career to support the other person’s career
  • Sacrifices one person made to get the other person through school or to further the other person’s goals

Implied understanding between the couple may not be enough to convince the court, so it’s a good idea to have a financial agreement in writing.

Make the Call to Family Lawyer

For help receiving palimony payments or with drafting a cohabitation agreement, reach out to The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock. Not everyone believes that marriage is necessary for a loving relationship, but that doesn’t mean that one of the partners isn’t owed financial support when a long-lasting relationship dissolves.

If you believe that you are owed palimony payments, you should contact an attorney right away to discuss the options available in your case. An attorney at our law firm can be reached through the internet submission form below or by calling 909-466-7661.

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