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California does not recognize a common law marriage. However she may have what is called a "palimony
" cause of action. She must prove that she lived with her boyfriend for an extended amount of time and that he promised to take care of her financially for the rest of her life. She must also prove the existence of an agreement, stating such. She would need to prove that she helped to pay for the his education, assisted in the business or stayed at home to raise his child.
In Marvin v. Marvin (1976) 18 Cal.3d 660, 666 [134 Cal. Rptr. 815, 557 P.2d 106], Michelle brought an action against Lee, alleging the parties had lived together for six years and had agreed he would support her for life. The trial court granted judgment on the pleadings for defendant.
The Supreme Court reversed, holding the complaint stated a cause of action for breach of an express contract. It stated: "[W]e base our opinion on the principle that adults who voluntarily live together and engage in sexual relations are nonetheless as competent as any other persons to contract respecting their earnings and property rights.... So long as the agreement does not rest upon illicit meretricious consideration, the parties may order their economic affairs as they choose, ..." (Marvin, supra, 18 Cal.3d at p. 674, italics added.)
states homemaking services are lawful consideration for an agreement relating to earnings, property or expenses. (Marvin, supra, 18 Cal.3d at p. 670, fn. 5
; Whorton v. Dillingham (1988) 202 Cal. App.3d 447, 455, fn. 5 [248 Cal. Rptr. 405]
.) Thus, Michelle Marvin was able to allege lawful consideration based on her services as a "`homemaker, housekeeper and cook,'" which services were severable from the sexual aspect of the relationship. (Marvin, supra, at pp. 666, 670-672
Based on your post she does have a Marvin claim for palimony and also an equitable division of the property acquired while they were together. She will need an attorney.http://www.lawyer.com