The Law Offices of

B J Fadem & Associates, APC

Certified Family Law Specialist

San Jose Divorce lawyer

Cohabitating without marriage is very common in our contemporary age. However, the ending of this relationship and a person’s legal rights to Property, Custody and Visitation, Paternity, and Child Support, among others, are not commonly known.

The first Palimony case was Marvin vs Marvin whereas: Michelle Triola spent several years living with actor Lee Marvin. After their breakup, she legally adopted the surname “Marvin” despite never having been married to him, and claimed he had promised to support her for the rest of her life. In the end, the California Supreme Court ruled that Triola had not proven the existence of a contract between herself and Mr. Marvin that gave her an interest in his property. Thus, the common law rule applied to the situation without alteration, and she took away from the relationship and the household what she brought to it.

The Court went on to explain that while the state abolished common law marriage in 1896, California law, however, does, in fact, recognize non-marital relationship contracts or agreements between people. These contracts may be express or implied, oral or written—but they must be provable in any case. The contract may also provide for a sexual relationship as long as it is not a contract for sexual services. Eventually, the California Court of Appeal ruled that since Michelle Triola and Lee Marvin never had a contract, she was not entitled to any money.

In addition, even though you may not be married; you may not be on the “deed” to real property – there may be a “community” interest in real property if, in fact, it can be proven that there was an “agreement” or “promise” that the home was both of yours.

Having to “prove” that your partner had agreed to take care of you for the rest of your life, or prove that you and your partner were “pooling” your assets jointly, can be a very daunting and stressful situation. You may never have thought that all those valentines’ cards, special love notes, emails, texts, and birthday cards would either be useful or haunt you. Who would think that not getting married would become such a nightmare? In this day and age, not getting married is very common. Having a girl-friend, boy-friend, or who you called your partner in life, now becomes an issue in a Court of Law? You may have thought just packing up your belongings and starting over was all you had to do, right? Or you ask him/her to move out. Until, he/she reaches out to an Attorney. Then suddenly your whole world is turned upside down. Our Law Firm has dealt with this very delicate situation for over 30 years – from both the prosecution and defense side.

Common questions regarding Palimony are:

Is there such a thing as Palimony?

Yes. However, Courts decide each matter case by case.

Is it easy to get Palimony in California?


What do you need to prove for Palimony?

Among several factors, the parties had an ‘agreement’ to pull their assets and live essentially as Domestic Partners or significant others and one party agreed to support the other party.

Matters of Palimony can become more complicated when other legal issues are of concern also. Such as:

*Property Division & Characterization

Can your Law Firm file our Legal documents and/or represent me in any County?

Yes. We can file in all California Counties and cities, including but not limited to: Alameda County, Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Glenn County, Humbolt County, Inyo County, King County, Lake County, Lassen County, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Modoc County, Mono County, Monterey County, Napa County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Yolo County, and Yuba County. In addition, B J Fadem has represented hundreds of clients throughout California, the United States and foreign countries [with regard to Hague matters].

Seeking sound legal counsel with regard to Legal Separation is a very important decision. Making the wrong or uninformed decision could cost you your family. Helping families is what Attorney B J Fadem does.

Our Attorneys are skilled at helping clients with Legal Separation legal issues and making the process as civil and polite as possible. We hope that your case will go to Mediation first or to a Settlement Conference. This will save you both time and money. However, if the opposing party does not hold these ideals in high regard, we will be prepared to litigate at trial.

Your issue may be time sensitive.

Please contact our office to set-up your Initial Consultation.

Please read the FAQs prior to your Initial Consultation.

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