Palimony And “Marvin” Actions (Unmarried Couples)

While common law marriage is not recognized in California, unmarried couples who live together do have some property rights. If you have been living with your partner for a period of time and your relationship ends, consult with a skilled family law attorney to determine whether or not you have a claim for support, referred to as palimony.

My name is Mike Darlington. I help unmarried clients protect their financial assets and property and help with asset division.

What Exactly Is Palimony? And What Is A ‘Marvin’ Action?

Palimony refers to an unmarried individual’s ability to collect support payments from a former partner, similar to spousal support payments that married couples may seek in a divorce.

These matters are called “Marvin” actions, based on the case involving late actor Lee Marvin. The actor’s former live-in girlfriend, Michelle Triola, sued Lee Marvin after their relationship ended. She sought financial support based on promises that Marvin had made to her to take care of her. Michelle Triola won her case, establishing the legal precedent for palimony.

Do I Have A Claim For Palimony?

If you and your partner made an agreement regarding your cohabitation arrangement, the courts may grant you palimony. For example, if one person agreed to provide financial support for the residence while the other agreed to maintain the premises, the person who did not provide financial contributions could make a claim for support from the other. Even if your agreement was never put in writing, you might have a valid argument for palimony.

Palimony Claims And Related Legal Issues

I have 30 years of experience in California family law. This includes many cases where couples lived together outside of marriage, combining their finances and accumulating wealth together. I have helped clients:

  • Seek palimony payments
  • Pursue real property interests
  • Fight for reimbursement for retirement accounts accumulated during cohabitation

In a palimony or Marvin action, assets and shared properties are not divided the same way community property is divided in a divorce proceeding. To help you fight for your share of the shared assets, make sure you hire a skilled lawyer to represent your interests.

Providing Legal Support For Unmarried Couples

If you believe you are entitled to collect palimony, contact me online or call my office in Redding at 530-244-2600 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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