Legal definition of palimony
Divorce & Separation Legal Terminology


a substitute for alimony for unmarried couples that have lived together for a long period and then terminated their relationship. The key issue is whether there was an agreement that one partner would support the other in return for the second making a home and performing other domestic duties beyond sexual service.

Written palimony contracts are rare, but the courts have found "implied" contracts, when a woman has given up her career, managed the household or assisted in the man's business for a lengthy period of time. The most famous case on palimony is a California case of an actor Lee Marvin, Marvin v. Marvin, 18 Cal. 3d 660, 134 Cal. Rptr. 815, 557 P.2d 106 (1976), followed by Kozlowski v. Kozlowski, 80 N.J. 378 (1979) in New Jersey.
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