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Do I Have a Case for Receiving Palimony After a Breakup?

Posted on in Spousal Support

Los Gatos spousal support lawyer for palimonyMany long-term romantic couples choose to marry, but some decide that marriage is not the right decision while nonetheless choosing to move in together and share many aspects of their lives and finances. When an unmarried, cohabiting couple ends their relationship, one partner may sometimes feel that the other should make “palimony” payments, but it can often be difficult to determine whether there are legal grounds to seek this type of financial support.

What Is Palimony?

“Palimony” is a term commonly used for the equivalent of spousal support or alimony payments between former partners who have never been married. Unlike for divorced couples, California law does not explicitly provide a means for unmarried partners to seek support payments, but it may still be possible to receive palimony if you and your partner had previously established a legally binding cohabitation agreement.

Including Palimony in Your Cohabitation Agreement

At any point while you are cohabiting with your partner, you can decide together to establish a cohabitation agreement, which can include a provision for support payments in the event that the relationship ends. You may decide to model your palimony agreement based on the method for determining spousal support in a California divorce, which takes into consideration:

  • How long the relationship lasted.

  • Each partner’s standard of living during the cohabitation.

  • Each partner’s income and earning potential.

  • Each partner’s age and health.

  • Contributions that each partner made to the relationship, such as caring for children or supporting the other partner’s career or education.

Your cohabitation agreement can also address the division of any shared assets and debts, including bank accounts, credit card accounts, or a home that you purchased together. Keep in mind that oral or implicit agreements may be harder to enforce, so your best chance at protecting your interests is usually to work with an attorney to develop a written and signed agreement.

Contact a Los Gatos, CA Family Law Attorney

At the Ventresca Law Firm, we are committed to helping families of all kinds, including those who choose to cohabit rather than get married. We can work with you and your partner to establish a cohabitation agreement that works for both of you, and if your relationship has ended, we can help you understand your options for seeking the support you need to remain financially stable. For a free consultation with a passionate Los Gatos cohabitation agreement lawyer, contact us today at 408-395-8822.


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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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