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Can I get alimony if I never married my partner?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Alimony, Divorce

You and your partner in Pennsylvania have split up after many years of living together, maybe even raising a couple of kids. Can you get alimony from your ex if you can’t support yourself on your own?

Unmarried partners can petition for palimony payments

Family law recognizes that unmarried partners go through a form of divorce when they break up after many years of living together. The legal term for support following a dissolution of a domestic partnership is palimony. Not all states allow palimony, but Pennsylvania does. Just as with a divorce between married couples, domestic partners can each hire an attorney to advise them on the division of assets they acquired during their years together. Generally, you will file for palimony payments in a court located in the last jurisdiction where you lived together.

Factors determining the amount of palimony support

The courts often award palimony payments when there is proof that two people who have lived together had an implicit intercouple agreement. However, like alimony, palimony payments may also be determined via several important factors, including:

  • Length of the relationship
  • Promises to provide support made by one partner
  • Written financial agreements
  • Income inequality between the partners
  • Children produced by the relationship
  • Sacrifices made by one partner to advance the other’s career
  • The general appearance as husband and wife

Drafting a palimony agreement

Although many aspects of palimony agreements are similar to those for alimony, family law governing these support agreements have different rules. Make sure that you understand those rules before drafting your agreement.

Typically, palimony agreements may not be modified. Some exceptions do exist, but if you petition for a modification in the future, be prepared to show a substantial change in your situation.