Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Property division matters of unmarried couples-Part II

When an unmarried couple lives together in Orange County, or anywhere else in California, for a long period of time, they have probably acquired a number of assets during that time. Often, the most expensive asset that such couples acquire is a house. In an earlier post, we discussed how an unmarried couple may divide the house in the event of a breakup.

Typically, an unmarried couple will ask the realtor to appraise the value of the property. One partner allows the other to pay for the property. So when they parts ways, the couple decides how the proceeds from the sale of the house will be divided between them. If the unmarried couple decides that the house will not be sold, they will agree on which partner will remain in the house. The couple may also settle on a payout plan.

The law also states that if an unmarried couple has been staying in the house for a substantial amount of time, one partner cannot be evicted from that house. Both of them are entitled to live in the house. However, if one partner wants to evict the other from the house, a formal eviction order must be issued.

Usually, an unmarried partner is not expected to pay support. The support is referred to as palimony in such cases. There is no legal significance unless the unmarried couple has agreed previously that support will be paid in the event of a separation. In a recent order, however, the California Supreme Court decided that a former partner could sue for support in the event that the other partner does not pay support despite having agreed previously to pay.

Source: FindLaw, "Cohabitation Property Rights for Unmarried Couples," Accessed on Aug. 2, 2015

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