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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13520
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My partner and I were never married and I make more money.

Customer Question

My partner and I were never married and I make more money. If we separate, will I be responsible for alimony payments?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

No, you would not be. While a couple who legally makes their partnership official can result in one party having to pay alimony in the event of a dissolution, it does not apply here since you never legally married.

Did you need clarification or additional information about my answer? If so, please reply, I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, please remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars,as experts are not employees of this site and we are only paid if you leave a positive rating. Thank you!

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Kindly do not open a new question if you have follow-up questions -simply reply back to me in this thread.

Unlike divorce, where there are clear-cut court procedures for separating joint assets, the financial disentanglement of an unmarried relationship is comparatively murky. The best plan is to try and work out a fair settlement on your own.

Mediation, which is often used in divorce, can be a great way to get some help sorting things out, but in your situation there is no community property/equitable distribution the way there would be in a divorce or partnership dissolution.

If you can’t agree on how to split up everything, you’re left with having to file an "action for partition, which is like dividing up the assets of a jointly owned business. Regular civil courts are not trained or set up to handle these kinds of domestic disputes with the same sensitivity and nuance as family courts. Common law applies to property at a breakup like this: each person leaves with what they brought in.

As for items acquired jointly, courts may try to figure out who paid for what and divide them in that way. But most courts don’t have the time for such detailed unraveling, and so assets are often divided 50/50. There is no consideration of financial need, contributions to the relationship, or a big picture analysis.

Hence, why I said that ideally, the best solution is to try and work something out with your partner to come to an agreement that is fair to both of you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Was there any further information or clarification I could provide about my answer?