How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser , Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37631
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have gone through a very difficult divorce. I own my home.

Resolved Question:

I have gone through a very difficult divorce. I own my home. My boyfriend and his two children are going to move in with me in the next three weeks. He does not have any assets. What precautions, if any, should I take before they move in with me?

Thanks in advance.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

Under Family Code Sec. 4323(a)(1), cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex creates a rebuttable presumption that a the cohabiting spouse has a reduced need for spousal support. So, there is a risk.


Also, once your boyfriend is moved in, you would have to evict him with 30 days notice to remove him and the children (60 days, if living there for one year or more), and then an unlawful detainer action, which is a real civil action, not small claims, so it's expensive. And, there is no way to avoid this outcome.


Finally, under California law, cohabiting parters can sometimes be forced to pay support, if the complaining partner can prove a contract for something other than sex between the parties. And, if the boyfriend helps pay the mortgage or improvements in the property, then he would obtain an "equitable" interest in reimbursement for those contributions.


The only way to avoid the downside of the last paragraph above is to enter into a signed contract detailing the relationship rights and duties. Most people cannot manage to do this, because it's too emotionally charged. But, that's what you would have to do.


On the other hand, if you never leap, you never love. And, there are no guarantees in life.


Hope this helps.


Terms and Conditions: By your continuing in this conversation with me, or by your clicking “Accept”, you are expressly agreeing to all of the following: (1) our communication is for entertainment purposes only; (2) you are not consulting me in my professional capacity as an attorney; (3) you do not seek to establish an attorney-client relationship with me, nor do I with you; (4) you will not rely on anything I say and you will obtain appropriate legal counsel via a traditional/office consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where your legal issue arises (and you may not use our communication to avoid taxpayer penalties imposed by the U.S. Dept. of Treasury); (5) by communicating with me in this public forum you are irrevocably waiving any right to privacy, confidentiality and attorney-client privilege concerning the matters discussed. You further separately declare that any payment made by you is not consideration for this contract, nor offered for any services rendered by me on your behalf, but rather is made in genuine admiration and respect for my desire to help others. If you do not agree with these terms and conditions, then you must advise me immediately.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If they moved in with me and he paid a certain amount of money to split expenses . . . should I write up a co-habitation agreement for this? Also, if we should eventually break up, could he legally take a portion of my real estate . . . even though my property is in my name only?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

1. Cohabitation agreement: You could do this. You could also set up a separate checking account into which any funds to pay joint expenses would go, and then never commingle any other money or assets, or pay bills from any other account. Then, there would always be a clean audit trail of every money transaction concerning the relationship.


2. Piece of your real estate: not title, but equity, i.e., a lien against the value of your property, which could require you to refi, and pay him is portion, just as if he had title. The only way around this is a lease, same as any other tenant, so he knows what he owes for "rent."

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks. XXXXX write up a co-habitation/lease agreement will I have to report his payments to me as income?


Forgive me please for all of my questions, I am a new Paralegal (I guess I'm one of the worst ones to ask you guys questions . . .) and am trying to get my life back in order after my divorce five years ago. I have worked very hard for what I currently have and don't want to put myself in a position where I could possibly loose some of it. Please advise



Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

Sharing expenses is not considered taxable income, whereas a rental agreement would be. But, I'm not sure how the IRS would know the difference, since the rent check from your boyfriend for shared expenses would look the same as the check from a tenant.


The lease agreement is more of a fallback position, anyway, in case everything falls apart. Until then, you're just sharing expenses.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
O.K. Thanks for your assistance!
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.
You're welcome and good luck!
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37631
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 9 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
< Previous | Next >
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL

Meet The Experts:

  • Ely


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
< Last | Next >
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • LawTalk's Avatar


    Attorney and Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, 17 years legal experience including family law
  • P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons


    Satisfied Customers:

    16 yrs. of experience including family law.
  • Barrister's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Attorney with 15 years experience
  • AttorneyTom's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers: