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Michigan Family Law Blog

Thursday, June 25, 2020

What Is Palimony?

When married partners confront divorce, financial uncertainty is a common worry. Most states have clear divorce laws governing the division of assets and debts, as well as strict guidelines determining the amount and duration of future support payments known as alimony.

Upon ending their relationships, unmarried couples living together face similar fears as their married counterparts. Unfortunately, few states afford them the same legal protections as married couples.

Michigan residents preferring cohabitation to marriage should consult with an experienced Michigan spousal support lawyer early in their relationship. Agreements clarifying property division and future monetary support can be drafted, protecting each party in the event the couple does not remain together in the relationship.

What is Palimony?

Palimony is a term referencing ongoing financial support and maintenance between unmarried partners whose relationship has dissolved.

Who Needs Palimony?

If you find yourself entering into a non-marital living arrangement with your romantic partner, you will likely end up commingling finances and responsibilities much the same as a married couple.

Often, one of you will invest more money and resources or make greater time and career sacrifices than the other for the betterment of the arrangement. When this happens, one partner generally becomes unequally financially dependent on the other.

In such situations, the end of the relationship can spark a financial crisis for the dependent partner, and the need for palimony becomes an issue.

Are You Entitled to Palimony in Michigan?

Michigan law does not explicitly recognize or grant palimony to unmarried couples. However, a Michigan divorce attorney can advise you about legal grounds for ongoing support at the end of a non-marital relationship.

How Can You Get Palimony in Michigan?

Cohabitation among romantic partners does not legally obligate one party to the other. Pursuing palimony in Michigan will require proof of established and predetermined financial arrangements between parties.

Written and oral agreements detailing the financial structure of the relationship are essential when advocating your case. Any specific or implied economic dependence of one party on the other will strengthen your claim for future maintenance payments.

How is Alimony Paid?

If you can substantiate your claim for palimony, you will need to determine how to receive payment. Similar to alimony distributions, palimony may be accepted as installment payments over time, or as one lump-sum payment.

Divorce attorneys and financial advisors in Michigan will advise you about what is best in your situation.

Why do You Need a Michigan Divorce Attorney if You’re Cohabiting?

For unmarried couples considering living together, it's smart to gather information about palimony and personal property rights early in the relationship.

While your romantic relationship is still on good terms, you and your partner should work with a Michigan divorce lawyer to draft a cohabitation agreement clarifying your individual rights and your responsibilities to one another.

No one wants to enter into a romantic union thinking about its demise, but early planning can spare a lot of emotional turmoil and financial fears if things fall apart.

Contact our Michigan divorce lawyers today to learn more about palimony in Michigan.


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