Kevin Qualls Family Law
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What is palimony and how does it work?

This blog has previously discussed how unmarried couples who separate have to deal with some unique issues when it comes to their legally splitting. For instance, while child custody and support work in ways that are similar to what one might find in a divorce, unmarried couples face difficult family law issues when it comes to dividing up their property and figuring out their financial affairs.

It can be a particularly challenging process when a couple has been together for a long time and has maintained a household in common. One issue that may come up is that of what is called palimony, that is, court-ordered payments by one partner to another. California is one of a few states that are willing to award palimony.

In some circumstances, palimony is a lot like its namesake, alimony, in that a judge will decide whether, how much, and for how long one partner will have to pay the other. Usually, a palimony claim will arise when, given the circumstances, one member of a long-time couple is otherwise going to be left holding the financial short end of the stick at the end of a breakup.

The big difference between palimony and alimony is that the latter can be claimed simply because the two parties were married and now wish to divorce or separate. With respect to palimony, since there is no legal marriage, a person seeking these sorts of payments will have to show some legal basis for them. Usually, the argument is that there was some sort of implied contract or partnership agreement between the couple.

Palimony is not a straightforward concept. Those in Orange County who have detailed questions should consider speaking with a family law attorney.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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