Articles Posted in palimony

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In modern society, it is common for unmarried couples to live together without being married.  When an unmarried cohabiting couple separates, however, the rights to equitable distribution and6a3146dbdf81597192112ac03d77c7e4-300x200 alimony does not exist.  No matter how long an unmarried couple has lived together, they do not have the legal rights and protection that divorcing couples enjoy.  Cohabitating, unmarried couples also do not enjoy the rights and protections that married couples having during their marriage, such as filing joint tax returns; receiving distributions from estates free of estate tax; receiving survivor’s benefits from retirement plans and Social Security; obtaining “family” health insurance, dental insurance, and other employment benefits; and automatically sharing in his/her partner’s property in the event he or she dies without a will. Continue reading

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For many years Palimony actions were proliferating. Spurned on by the original landmark palimony case filed against actor Lee Marvin by his former girlfriend in California. palimony actions gave e3bc10d77963468f2705f7119c049b73-300x199 hope that people (usually women) in long term relationships without marriage would have some financial rights when the romantic relationship went sour. Palimony served a useful social function to level the proverbial social playing field once the concept of “common law marriage” was eliminated. For Palimony created legal right of support in situations were there was no legal marriage but there was a promise of support. Continue reading

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Earlier this month, the New Jersey Appellate Division took up the issue of whether or not a litigant living as a fugitive outside the United States has standing to challenge a default judgment entered by the trial relating to custody and support. The case of Yvietta Matison v. Mark Lisantary, involved an appeal by the father from the trial court’s June 20, 2014 order denying his motion to vacate a May 1, 2013 default judgment, which awarded the mother palimony and custody of the couple’s twin children, who were born in 2004. The court based its ruling on the facts submitted by the mother because the father did not participate in the litigation. According to the mother, “Before she came to the United States in March 2006, the father purchased a home valued at approximately $1.9 million in Franklin Lakes and paid for substantial renovations to the home. He also provided a nanny, interior decorator and secretary. During this time, [ the father] returned to Europe to conduct business and [the mothejudger] remained in the Franklin Lakes home with the children and the nanny. He subsequently sold the property, and plaintiff and the children moved to Tenafly where the children were enrolled in private school. [The father] continued to provide support to plaintiff from abroad. Continue reading

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Almost 2 years ago I wrote a series of blogs discussing the viability of palimony claims in the State of New Jersey in light of a January, 2010 Amendment to the Statute of Frauds (N.J.S.A. 25:1-5(h)), requiring that for any promise by one party in a non-marital personal relationship to provide support to the other person to be enforceable, that promise had to be both in writing and made with independent advice of counsel for each of the parties. In one of my previous blog posts: “TO MARRY OR NOT TO MARRY – IS THERE STILL A QUESTION?”, Continue reading

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In 2013 this firm addressed in this blog our State’s view on Palimony on three occasions. First, in “The State Of Palimony in the State of New Jersey“, Karen Willitts outlined the general law of palimony before and after the 2010 amendment to the “Statute of Frauds”, N.J.S.A. 25:1-5(h) which required palimony agreements to be in writing and the result of consultation with independent counsel to be binding agreements. Continue reading

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Only several months ago I wrote a blog discussing the then state-of-the-law in New Jersey in regards to palimony and the ability of unmarried cohabitants to enforce unwritten promises of support.  Continue reading

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Whether at family gatherings, cocktail parties or making small talk at the gym, when people learn I am a divorce lawyer, they often question whether it makes sense to get married in today’s society, that it is “just a piece of paper”, and that people can simply “shack up” if they want to be together.  Continue reading

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coupleWe often hear about palimony when celebrities are involved.   One early notorious palimony case was the palimony litigation between actor Lee Marvin and his paramour, Michelle Triolla, which was in litigation for several years in California after Ms. Triolla (who adopted the surname Marvin) contended that she cohabited with Mr. Marvin for a number of years and that Mr. Marvin promised to support her for life. Continue reading