Palimony Versus Divorce
Palimony comes from the word alimony, which is the word for support that is paid by one spouse to another after a divorce, and pal meaning a partner of an unmarried couple living together. The word was coined by attorney Marvin Mitchelson who was representing Michelle Triola Marvin against actor Lee Marvin in a case where she was seeking to recover support payments, much like alimony payments in a divorce. The couple had lived together for several years and she alleged that he had told her he would support her for the rest of her life. After they broke up, she said that they had an oral agreement whereby she would give up a career and take care of him in return for his agreement to give her half of his income and property acquired during their relationship. The California Supreme Court ruled that Michelle Marvin had not proven the existence of any contractual relationship between the parties and she was therefore not entitled to any portion of the money or property acquired during their relationship.
Divorce on the other hand is the dissolution of a marriage between two parties requiring them to distribute the property between them in accordance with the laws of the state within which they reside. California is called a community property state, which means that all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a party to the marriage during the marriage relationship while living within the state is community property. This community property shall be divided equally between the parties unless they have entered into some other written agreement or made an oral stipulation of the parties in open court. Separate property of either party to a marriage is that property, real or personal, wherever situated, which they owned prior to entering into the marriage relationship or acquired during the marriage by gift, bequest, devise or descent. In a divorce, the court will look at many things before determining alimony or spousal support, including the ability of the spouse seeking support to support themselves, the ability of a party to pay spousal support, the needs of the parties, the duration of the marriage and the standard of living established during the marriage, among other things.
Whether you have been involved in a long-term relationship with another unmarried person or in a marriage relationship contemplating divorce, you owe it to yourself to seek the advice of a reputable and experienced divorce attorney. San Jose divorce attorney BJ Fadem has been representing clients in San Jose and throughout California for 28 years. A seasoned Trial Lawyer, BJ Fadem is highly regarded by the judiciary and peers as a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist, certified by the State of California Bar Association. In addition to divorce law, the firm's practice includes a wide variety of family law matters including annulments, legal separation, restraining orders, property settlement agreements, child support, visitation agreements, spousal support, and international family law.
Call our Bay Area family law firm toll free at (866) 973-2336 today, or contact us online to schedule your own confidential, no-obligation initial consultation to sit down and discuss how we can help you. We will answer your questions and advise about the best way to present your case for the most favorable outcome. Because we understand these are sensitive and emotional times, we want you to feel free to bring your children with you when you come to our child-friendly office, conveniently located at 111 North Market Street, Suite 910. For directions call our office at (408) 280-1220.