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Breakup after 17 year relationship; am I entitled to anything?

Adams, MA |

My boyfriend left me after a 17 year relationship (lived together in my home, both in our 50s, no children together)....am I entitled to any benefits similar to marriage/divorce? By the way I have loaned him between $40-$60k to keep his business afloat over the years and he has not paid me a penny...

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Massachusetts is not a common law marraige state. But, you might be able to get your loan money back if you can show it was a loan and not a gift.

    The above is not intended to be legal advice, but may be used for general information. Please contact an attorney for specific help tailored to your needs. www.figgardenlaw.com


  2. As noted by my colleague, Massachusetts does not recognize common law marriage, nor are alimony or division of assets an issue where the parties were never married. However, you may be able to file a claim in equity against your ex-boyfriend for monies loaned as opposed to gifted to him. You should speak with an attorney local to your area about this.

    Best wishes.

    No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside, particularly as it relates to family law, child support, custody and visitation (a/k/a "parenting time") issues, including 209A abuse-prevention restraining orders (a/k/a "ROs" in legal-speak), regarding un-emancipated children, under the age of 22.


  3. If you have some documentation or evidence about the loan, you might be able to get that back. That is potentially a complex off the contract remedy. Seek a specific consultation with an attorney for this.

    MA does not recognize common law marriage.


  4. You can certainly pursue a claim against him for the money "loaned" if it was actually a loan and you can prove that fact. Typically, in these situations money "loaned" is never memorialized in any sort of loan or repayment documents. The fact that you give a range of "$40-$60k" as the loan amount leads me to believe that you don't really know how much you gave him and don't have any loan or repayment documents. And, as he has not paid you a penny over the "years" would also lead me to believe that these funds were never treated like a loan. Then, before your waste time to bring a legal action, you have to look at the issue if he is able to even repay you the money. Because you could bring a legal action against him for the loaned amount, but will he ever be able to pay it anyway? You may want to get together any documents that you have evidencing the loan and speak with an attorney.

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