Monday, January 14, 2008

Palimony - Cohabitants Not Entitled to Support

Once in a while an unmarried client meets with me to discuss whether s/he is entitled to the equivalent of alimony because of a recently ended long-term relationship. Often times the person invested in the family home, yet his/her name doesn't appear on its title, purchased furnishings, vehicles and other necessities to allow both parties an enjoyable lifestyle.

However, unlike New Jersey, where the New Jersey Court of Appeals Court recently issued a ruling awarding substantial palimony to a New Jersey woman, Iowa does not recognize such relief.

However, Iowa does recognize common law marriage (although the burden of proof is pretty tough). The fact pattern outlined in the New Jersey case may have been enough for an Iowa Court to find a common law marriage existed. The results are on a case-by-case basis.

Nonetheless, other remedies may be available to an Iowa resident in a similar fact pattern. Consult with your local family law practitioner to explore possibilities.