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Lawrence D. Gorin
Lawrence D. Gorin, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1544
Experience:  30+ years family law experience. QDROs, UIFSA, UCCJEA expertise.
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What are if any, the palimony laws in Florida I have ...

Resolved Question:

What are if any, the palimony laws in Florida? I have been living with my boyfriend for almost 5 yrs and he has been my sole supporter. I live in his houses and drive one of his vehicles and he pays all my bills, etc. I haven''t had to work since we''ve been together. He is a man of wealth.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lawrence D. Gorin replied 9 years ago.

Yes, there is a basis for asserting a claim for “palimony” under Florida law, providing there is evidence that the parties had fomulating some type of agreement during the relatinship that provides a basis for making such an award.

In sum, Florida “case law” tells us the following:

Agreements between unmarried parties may be enforced provided there is valid and lawful consideration apart from any express or implied agreement regarding sexual relations. See Stevens v. Muse, 562 So.2d 852, 853 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990) (holding agreements between unmarried cohabitants were not violative of public policy) See also Poe v. Levy's Estate, 411 So.2d 253, 256 (Fla. 4th DCA 1982) ("a cause of action based on an express contract or for construction of a trust is enforceable regardless of the fact that the parties may be cohabiting illicitly as long as it is clear that there was valid, lawful consideration"). An oral agreement between cohabiting parties, if proved, is enforceable. Crossen v. Feldman, 673 So.2d 903 (Fla. 2d DCA 1996).

Palimony - What’s it all about
Palimony is a form of alimony awarded to one member of a non-marital couple who have separated. A palimony claim is a claim for alimony like support that arises out a relationship in which two parties have been living together or cohabitating without being married.

Palimony suits take years to settle and are difficult to prove. The duration of the relationship, the commingling of funds and the two parties' lifestyles are all factors that must be considered. I ndividuals who live together without being married are afforded no special protection beyond that afforded by traditional concepts of contract law, constructive trust law, and the like.

A Palimony lawsuit is really more like a lawsuit for the breach of a contract than a lawsuit for divorce. In contract lawsuits, plaintiffs are asking for money damages. Lawsuits for money damages are normally filed in the Law Division of the Superior Court. However, the Family Part is now the proper place to file a lawsuit for palimony. This is because a palimony lawsuit arises out of a "family-type" relationship, and it is considered best to have this type of a case decided by a judge with expertise in family law.

There are no specific court rules or statutes that provide directions as to what a written complaint in a palimony lawsuit should look like. However, the complaint should contain the following information:

* Enough facts to show that the plaintiff and defendant have been living together for a reasonably long time;
* A description of the living arrangements between the parties, including a list of the types of services that the plaintiff performed for the defendant;
* A description of the promise or contract made to support the plaintiff for life;
* An explanation of how the promise and/or contract was broken; and
* A request for financial or monetary support.

Palimony Suits are for Financial Recovery
In palimony cases, the amount of money owed to the financially dependent partner is based on the promise or contract that was made between the partners. The sum of the support awarded is normally the amount determined to be necessary to support the plaintiff for the rest of her life, beginning from the time of the breakup of the relationship for as long as she might be expected to live. (There are special charts that allow experts to calculate the average life expectancy of a person of the plaintiff's age.) Unlike a divorce action, a palimony lawsuit can be filed only to recover money, not property. Division of property is only allowed in the context of a legal marriage.

---> NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER (“The Fine Print”): The foregoing response is based only on the facts gleaned from your inquiry and does not constitute a definitive legal analysis or evaluation of the facts and circumstances of your particular case and the law applicable thereto. The information provided here should not be the sole basis for your decision(s) regarding the handling or resolution of the legal problem or issue presented. Limitations and restrictions of this forum prevent any claim or guarantee as to the completeness, accuracy or adequacy of the information contained herein and no such claim is made or guarantee given. The foregoing response to your inquiry is not intended to be and should not be accepted as a substitute for the professional legal advice and counsel that can only be given by a lawyer licensed to practice in the state that has jurisdictional authority over the case. I am licensed to practice law only in the state of Oregon. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created by or through the response(s) given here. (Sorry this is so long. But I’m a lawyer, so it should come as no surprise.)

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