Palimony, a concept that was recognized first in California, has been defined as a form of alimony awarded to one of the partners in a romantic relationship – which is not a sanctioned by a marriage — after the breakup of that relationship following a long period of living together. In other words, when two non-married people live together, for some length of time, one of the parties is entitled to “alimony” (compensation) based on their living together.
New York has emphatically rejected “palimony” and will not recognize any claims for palimony. There is no implied contract between unmarried couples living together. New York Courts have stated that an obligation to pay for friendship (or a romantic relationship) is not to be implied, friendship, like virtue, must be its own reward.
Accordingly, if you are living together as an unmarried couple, no matter how long you have been living together and no matter how many “oral promises” were made, the Courts will not allow you to claim “palimony.”
However, although, an implied contract will not be recognized, unmarried couples are free to enter into written contracts, provided that the written contracts follow all the “normal” rules of contract law. This means that the written contract must, at a minimum: (i) have “consideration”; (ii) not be vague; (iii) not be entered into under duress; and (iv) illicit sexual relations (e.g., prostitution), cannot be part of the consideration.
“Consideration” in legal terms means that something, which can be very small or can be the “not doing of something” is exchanged for the promise or performance by the other party. In drafting a contract, an attorney will make sure that there is proper “consideration.”
Today, with so many couples living together, it may be wise to enter into a written contract specifying the rights and promises of each party.
If you want to explore your rights as an unmarried partner who is living together with another party, the Badanes Law Office and David Badanes can help you. The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County. Manhattan and Brooklyn. If you need an attorney, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.
The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.
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