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"Palimony" Support Is An Option When Unmarried Couples Separate

In California, married couples are not the only ones eligible for alimony at the end of a relationship. Thanks to a 1976 California Supreme Court case called Marvin v. Marvin, nonmarried partners have a right to seek financial support and the equitable division of shared property in a way that resembles the financial obligations faced during the dissolution of a marriage. Such a claim is formally known as a "Marvin action" or "Marvin claim," named for the Supreme Court case. Informally, this is sometimes also called "palimony" — a contraction of "pal" and "alimony."

At Sabharwal Law Offices, we understand that families come in many shapes and sizes. We have significant experience with both married and unmarried couples who have a need to formally end their relationship, including a legal and orderly accounting of the financial obligations that may persist after a relationship has ended. If you have questions about how palimony can affect your finances, come into our Berkeley office for a consultation. We'll help you understand your options.

Step-By-Step Guidance Through The Palimony Process

We have worked with parties seeking to receive financial support from an ex-partner and also with parties who have been asked to provide that support. In either case, the greatest hurdle to establishing palimony support is documenting the financial relationship between parties, since these parties are not already formally connected by marriage.

Some of the questions we will ask to help determine if palimony is an option in your case include:

  • How long did the two parties live together?
  • Did one of the parties financially support the other party?
  • Did both parties contribute toward the purchase of real estate or other assets?
  • Did one of the parties perform valuable services for the other, or for a company owned by that party?
  • Did the two parties co-own a business, or otherwise work together to create or enhance anything of value?
  • Did the parties have any expressed or implied agreement regarding property sharing or support?

Navigate Your Separation With The Help Of An Experienced Lawyer

Call us at 510-969-2109 or contact us online to schedule a consultation in our Berkeley, California, office. Our attorneys represent clients in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, San Francisco and elsewhere in Northern California.

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