Atlanta, GA Palimony Lawyer

When couples divorce, one spouse might be ordered to provide ongoing financial support to the other. This is called alimony. When the couple never married, continuing support payments are called palimony.

When a long-term relationship ends, sometimes one partner feels the other owes them financial support or compensation for opportunities they gave up to pursue the relationship. However, Georgia courts do not award palimony.

People in a long-term relationship that is not a marriage should consult with one of the Atlanta, GA palimony lawyers at our firm. They can provide advice about protecting assets and ensuring that your position will be financially sound if the relationship ends.

Georgia Law Forbids Palimony

The concept of palimony is that when a relationship is like a marriage, the parties should have rights similar to those given to married couples when the relationship ends. The legal theory is that a cohabitating couple had an implied contract in which one partner provided financial support in exchange for receiving some of the benefits of marriage without an actual marriage.

Very few states allow someone to sue a former lover for palimony, and Georgia is not one of them. The Official Code of Georgia §13-8-1 bars anyone from making or enforcing a contract to do something illegal or immoral. Courts have used this law to reject claims for palimony.

Many modern people do not consider cohabitation without marriage immoral, and it is not against the law. Nevertheless, there is no legal basis for a court to award palimony in this state. Someone who is cohabitating with an intimate partner or considering doing so should consult an Atlanta, GA attorney about how to protect their rights if the relationship ends since palimony is not an option.

Written Agreements Can Be Useful

Although Georgia courts will not enforce cohabitation contracts, it is still possible for a cohabitating couple to make a written agreement about how they should manage their money and property. The contract should be written, freely agreed to by both parties, and signed. There must be consideration for the contract.

Consideration is something of value one party to the contract gives to the other party, in exchange for something else. If the consideration for the contract is an agreement to live together as a couple but without marriage, a Georgia court will not consider it valid.

Our skilled Atlanta, GA palimony attorneys can create an agreement that offers proper consideration to each party. The agreement could describe how the parties will handle their separate and joint property and how they will divide joint property if they break up. A Georgia family court would treat a well-written agreement like any other contract.

Protecting Yourself Is Critical

Although contracts regarding property division can be helpful, married people have more rights than single people who live together. A single person must be scrupulous about preserving their financial autonomy.

An Atlanta attorney at our Georgia firm can discuss prudent measures to take since palimony will not be granted. These might include keeping valuable assets like a car or home in the name of the purchaser. When the couple has a joint account for household expenses, they might keep no more money than required for that purpose in the account. Each could hold most of their money in accounts the other cannot access. Other steps could be advisable, depending on each partner’s circumstances.

When a couple breaks up and there are disputes about money and other property, trying to avoid court is usually the wisest strategy. In many cases, legal representatives for each party can negotiate a resolution. Mediation is often helpful. When the parties cannot reach agreement, litigation remains an option.

Protect Yourself With an Atlanta, GA Attorney When Cohabitating With a Partner

There are many valid reasons for a couple to choose to live together rather than marry. The number of couples choosing this option appears to be increasing, and it is important for the partners to recognize the law does not provide them the same rights as married couples.

An Atlanta, GA palimony lawyer from our firm can help a couple decide how to manage their property and protect their rights. Contact a team member today to get the process started.

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