What Happens To Property After A Split Between Cohabiting Couples?

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

best divorce attorneys in Orange County; The Maggio Law FirmCohabiting couples are two individuals who stay together under one roof but are not married. Today it has become a trend to stay with each other before getting married and an increasing number of couples are following this trend. During cohabiting, couples accumulate property that is jointly owned by both of them. However, during a split, they have difficulty dividing the property. Property division is a headache even for married couples and can become confusing. Below are some of the factors that help property division for cohabiting couples.

Palimony

Common law marriage is not recognized by California which means that cohabiting couples do not enjoy the same rights as married couples. Cohabiting individuals are however entitled to palimony during a split. Palimony is the division of assets and finances between unmarried and cohabiting couples. Palimony is not part of the state law and depends mostly on an agreement made by the couples staying together. For palimony to become effective, the partner who made the agreement must prove that before living together some sort of agreement was made between the two regarding property division.

Cohabitation property agreement

Creating a cohabitation property agreement is a good idea especially in the beginning of a relationship. This provides a proof that a certain arrangement was made prior to marriage. In such circumstances, none of the individuals in the relationship can make a false claim related to property division. Usually, cohabitation agreements include details about specific assets and to whom do they belong. It also includes bank account, credit card and insurance details. The agreement is a record of property discussions that were made when both individuals were free of tension and stress.

Liability of debts

Unlike in marriage, where an individual can take care of his/her partners debts, unmarried partners are not necessarily responsible for each other’s debt. But if they hold a joint account or if one is the guarantor for the other, debts can be taken care by the other spouse. In most cases, each individual is responsible for their own debts.

Conclusion

Property division is an important issue during divorce and for unmarried couple things can become complicated when they lack proper understanding. There are palimony agreements and cohabitation property agreements that can be used to protect asset and property division. Debts are usually taken acre by each individual unless it is a question of joint account.

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Understanding Palimony & “Marvinizers” In California Cases

Posted by: Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce lawyer; The Maggio Law Firm, Inc.Palimony may sound like alimony but there are subtle differences between the two. For one, Palimony is applicable for unmarried couples who lived together before getting separated. Both of them work in a similar fashion and both involve spousal support paid by one partner to the other.

Marvin v. Marvin

The word palimony was first used during a court trial involving two unmarried partners who split shortly after a live-in relationship. ended. In 1976, actor Lee Marvin from California had a palimony case against him by his girlfriend Michele Triola for failing to fulfill his promise of financial support. Marvin’s promise made Michele quit her career and move in with her boyfriend as a homemaker. Since the couple were not married, it was up to the California court to decide the division of marital property. The court did not require an agreement from the couple in writing and passed the judgment based on their implied contract.

Palimony later became synonymous with financial support unmarried couples. The famous case was used as an example in a number of different cohabitation separation cases.

Cohabitation agreements

The court did not require a written agreement during the Marvin case but now modern-day courts require a written agreement of some form during palimony cases. There are cohabitation agreements which ensures that both individuals in a relationship recognize the rights of each other. Cohabitant agreements exist to protect the individuals in a relationship against unfair treatment. It mostly includes property rights but there might be other rights included in the agreement as well.

Hire a lawyer

Palimony laws and agreements may not work in the same way as alimony laws and should be handled by professional lawyers. To understand when and where a palimony is used, hiring a good and experienced lawyer should be the first step. A good lawyer can not only tell you how to make the most of a palimony but can also help guide you through the necessary steps in a palimony agreement.

Conclusion

Unmarried couples should know palimony laws and rules before moving in with each other. A palimony is used to protect the financial assets of one partner against misuse by the other partner. To prevent the other partner from taking advantage of the palimony agreements, individuals should consult experienced lawyers. Lawyers and attorneys who know the agreement rules in detail can provide a better insight and prevent substantial damage against their clients.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated!  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

 
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