Palimony as a term is a little less common than it was a decade or so ago, but you've probably heard about it on entertainment television or in the gossip columns, and may wonder about what it means. Palimony is a term that's a combination of “pal” and “alimony,” and it signifies an alimony-like payment agreement in which one former romantic partner pays the other former partner as a result of promises made during the relationship.

If you're still wondering what it means, imagine this: you're a man who's been in a long-term relationship with a woman. You've lived together, but you've never been married. You have, however, made certain promises to this woman about how you'll provide for her for the rest of your lives. You may even hold yourselves out to be husband and wife, but never actually get married. If you break up, the woman may be able to sue you because your broke this promise.

Naturally, it's hard to actually prove this, since there's usually no real contract in place. While marriage itself serves as a contract, an oral agreement not witnessed by anyone except two unmarried people is probably not going to hold up in court. Many courts treat the situation like a common law marriage, which in California mean that you leave the relationship with legal rights only to what you brought into it.

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If you are owed money promised to you during the course of a long-term relationship, you will need an experienced lawyer to represent you. To find out more about your legal rights to communal property, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling 760-722-7646 today.

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