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I have a (p.i) civil suit pending and if I win or it settles can my girlfriend sue me for supporting my sorry butt.? (Oregon)

Salem, OR |

My girlfriend has been supporting me over the past few years while my case plays out and I fully intend to compensate her for supporting me but if I win and the time comes to assess what I owe her and the amount that I feel is appropriate is not agreeable with her can she take me to court for like spousal support or something along those lines.? (Oregon)

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Attorney answers 6

Posted

Unless you have already agreed to some arrangement, she would not be able to claim a certain amount for helping you. Is't that what friends do for each other without regard to payment. Now, if you agreed to pay her a certain amount for assisting you, you may have to pay her.

Asker

Posted

Yes in theory but I couldn't help but to notice how big her eyes got when I showed her the amount of the first offer that I received. Money does crazy things to people..Just tryin' to cover my arse here. Thank you for the info. and for your time.

Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

If you have an attorney - talk to your attorney about this issue. Also, Mr. Bodzin has added helpful information.

Posted

If you're not married, there can be no spousal support claim. (In theory, she could claim you were in a domestic partnership, but this is not easy to prove, and requires a prolonged relationship. And even then, compensatory damages that you receive in a personal injury case are usually not distributed in a domestic relations dissolution. Bear in mind that a lot of the money that you get from the PI case will likely go to medical bills and the like.

Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: jay@northwestlawoffice.com | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com

Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

Good information form Mr. Bodzin.

Posted

Since you said she is your girlfriend she has no legal right to make a claim unless you signed an agreement. Feel free to give her whatever you want, but be prepared with alternate plans if she feels she is entitled to more.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

Absent a legal marriage there is no right of a girlfriend or boyfriend to ask for spousal support. There are however other theories. For example, you may have led her to believe that you would reimburse her for covering your living expenses (rent, food, utilities) and she may have supported you relying on your oral or written representations. There are certain equitable theories that give a person in your girlfriend's situation a remedy, although it is not going to be all that easy for her. First of all, it is very hard to prove oral agreements or representations. Her case will be stronger if she has something in writing. But oral agreements can be proven - it's not impossible, just very hard.

It is also arguable that her support was somewhat gratuitous, that she didn't expect repayment unless you recovered on your accident. So in part it was a gift. A true debt you would be obligated to pay whether or not you recover on your civil suit.

Probably the best thing for you to do when the time comes is to be open and honest. Shoe here what the recovery is, what you propose to pay her, and try to be fair. It is much less likely that she will sue you if she feels you have been fair with her.

The fact that you are even posting this leads me to believe that your relationship may not last long term and you want to know what she will do to you when you get your money and break up. If that is what is brewing really the decent thing for you to do is move in with a friend or your family and don't accept any more support from her.

Leading her on that you will pay her back and all along intending to bail on her does amount to fraud. At least be honest. Don't use her to support yourself if you are not sincerely committed to the relationship. It's just wrong.

A creative attorney can always come up with some theory to sue you. (Fraud, past rent, oral agreement, whatever.) And even though it wouldn't work in other cases, in a situation where it really looks like you took advantage of her - a judge or jury will sympathize with here and you may very well end up paying a judgement. http://www.portlandlegalservices.com

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

typo: Shoe here - should say "show her". Can't see the text very well on the small window here on the web page and can't edit after it is posted. Along that line - ask her to add up how much she has paid for rent, utilities, food, etc for the two of you over the time you have been supported - having numbers to work with would help you and her figure out a fair compensation rather then guessing and it makes the total amount of your award no longer relevant. It is about paying her back for say half of the living expenses. It would also seem fair to add a little extra, kind of like interest, to recognize that she lost the use of her money when she spent it on you and inflation has reduced the value so you have to add a little more to really compensate her fairly. Probably flowers, dinner and maybe a gift on top if you and her are going to continue would be appropriate.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

When I was in law school my boyfriend at the time was hurt in a car accident. He couldn't work and I only worked part time. I figured out pretty much the minimum I had to pay extra for him to live with me - a portion of rent, utilities. We talked about it and he agreed it was fair. I wrote up a document assigning that amount to me out of his future settlement. When the case finally settled we were no longer living together and I was really struggling to survive and pay for my last year of law school. He gave me the money we had agreed to and it really helped me finish that last year. Overall this man was my best friend for 32 years until he passed away. We stopped being boy friend and girl friend in about year 6 of our relationship but we spent 32 Christmases, Thanksgivings, and Birthdays together. Aim for something similar. Base a settlement on actual expenses. Try to agree. Do it now - don't wait until your case settles.

Asker

Posted

As I indicated in my original post I fully intend to compensate her in full so I was a bit puzzled by all the different lawyers that made comments regarding my ethics and integrity. My quetion was based upon the presumption of my girlfriend greed(since I know her well). I realize it seems that by the limited information I originally posted it appears that I am planning to bail and if I do that is my choice. But again my question and concern pertains to my girlfriends possibilities of legally acuiring more from me than we agree upon. Thank you for you advice and time

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

It's just a part of answering questions with limited info on Avvo. Partly it's because we can't talk to you to figure out anything that is not clear from limited information and partly because we need to anticipate that the question and the answers may be read by other people surfing the internet. Very glad to hear you are going to take an honorable path. Still think it's best to just analyze the living expenses involved and figure out a number as a way to get away from her looking at your settlement as being something you are going to share. But do understand when a couple commits (usually by marriage) they pool their money and resources and lives. It doesn't sound like your relationship is at that level of commitment. If you have been together for a few years and you are still keeping everything separate and you say that you feel she is greedy, it may be time to move on.

Posted

Not unless you have some type of written agreement where you agreed to pay her a portion of your settlement or you borrowed money from her and agreed in writing to repay it.

Posted

Do the right thing, and pay her what she has spent on you. The two of you can sit down and calculate it.

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Asker

Posted

As I indicated in my original post I fully intend to compensate her in full so I was a bit puzzled by all the different lawyers that made comments regarding my ethics and integrity. My quetion was based upon the presumption of my girlfriend greed(since I know her well). I realize it seems that by the limited information I originally posted it appears that I am planning to bail and if I do that is my choice. But again my question and concern pertains to my girlfriends possibilities of legally acuiring more from me than we agree upon. Thank you for you advice and time.

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