What Is Palimony?
What is palimony? Does palimony exist in Connecticut?
Read on to learn more, including the definition of palimony, as well as some common misconceptions.
Palimony is the division of financial assets and real property when an unmarried couple ends their relationship or breaks up. It is not, as many people think, the term for alimony paid to a man in a divorce. (Alimony a spouse pays to a man is just called alimony.). This may be in part because of the palimony scene between Nathan Lane and Robin Williams in The Birdcage.
“Palimony” actually isn’t either a legal or historical term. It’s a colloquialism created by Attorney Marvin Mitchelson when he attempted to get palimony Michelle Triola Marvin in her “marriage with no rings attached” to Lee Marvin.
Palimony vs. Common Law Marriage
Palimony is related to the concept of common law marriage. Common-law marriage is a legal concept where romantic partners who live together for a certain period of time become legally married even though they never have a formal ceremony or get a marriage license. In states who recognize the concept, these couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities that they would have had they technically married. For example, common-law spouses might have rights to property division, alimony, and spousal support. They might even have to divorce in order to end their relationship legally.
No matter how long people live together, there is no common law marriage in Connecticut. There’s only one, narrow exception to the rule. If romantic partners began and established a common law marriage in a state that recognizes it, Connecticut courts will recognize that marriage.
Does Connecticut Have Palimony?
No. Just as Connecticut does not recognize common law marriage, it does not have palimony. However, Connecticut courts will enforce valid cohabitation agreements between “unmarried cohabitants in a sexual relationship.”
Unmarried couples face complicated issues when they break up. If you are in a long-term relationship and do not plan to marry, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney.
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