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I had a reashionship with a man for 10 years , i sold my business so I could help him handle his real estate properties ,

Hacienda Heights, CA |

I worked without any salary , but I lived with him .
now we are splitting in good terms : do you think I could get some compensation for all these years ?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. In CA, unmarried couples are as free as any other adults to enter into contracts for support, sharing assets, etc. It's called a "Marvin" claim, after actor Lee Marvin, whose live-in sort of wife sued because he had given up her own acting career to act as Marvin's hostess, etc., and she claimed that he had agreed with her to treat her like a wife for property/support purposes, and that he held her out to others as his wife. The court ended up not finding for her, but did rule that 2 consenting adults who have a relationship not based solely on sex can make an agreement, like any other adults, to share property, provide support, etc. that the court would enforce.

    The essence of these claims is an agreement between the parties, and it's not clear here if there was actually an agreement. See a family lawyer for help.

    I'm only licensed in CA. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Hopefully you and your partner will come to a reasonable solution. I recommend that you negotiate the terms and then ask an attorney to help you document your agreement. I just finished revising a Co-Habitation Agreement between an unmarried couple. It provides for support in the event the relationship terminates voluntarily or due to disability or death. The great thing about contracts is that your options are unlimited.

    Good luck with your future plans.

    This information is general and will change according to your facts. While this information may apply to your situation, without more facts I can not encourage you to rely on this information. I am not your attorney. No attorney client relationship exists. You should hire an attorney for your specific business matters.


  3. It is possible, but not guaranteed. Your right to compensation would depend upon you and he had an enforceable written, oral or implied agreement, and if so, upon the terms of the agreement. The sort of action that you would need to file, if you can't negotiate a written settlement agreement with the man, is called a "Marvin" action. Unfortunately, in Marvin Actions, the plaintiff is not entitled to an award of attorney's fees unless the parties have a written agreement which provides for attorney's fees in the event of a controversy. You should consult a Family Law Attorney who has experience in handling Marvin actions to determine whether the facts of your matter would justify the expense of a Marvin action, and if so, you should retain experienced counsel to endeavor to negotiate a resolution of your Marvin claim and/or to file and prosecute a Marvin action on your behalf.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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