What Is a Palimony Action?

Palimony is spousal support for couples who are united through common law marriage. A common law marriage is marriage that occurs when two people in a relationship cohabitate a dwelling for an extended period. New York has no common law marriage. As a result, no matter how long two people live together in the state, the court will never see them as married unless they obtain a marriage license.

Additionally, in New York, you do not need a legal action to end a relationship with someone else, no matter how long you lived in the same residence together. However, New York does honor common law marriages from other states. For example, if you enter a common law marriage in Alabama and then move to New York, you would need a divorce in order to legally end the relationship.

Below is a list of states that still allow common law marriage:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia upholds common law marriages that exist before January 1, 1997
  • Idaho upholds common law marriages that exist before January 1, 1996
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire upholds common law marriage for inheritance purposes only
  • Ohio upholds common law marriages that exist before October 10, 1991
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah

Regardless of where your common law marriage began, if you wish it to end in New York, an experienced lawyer can help you.

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