Can I Seek Support From My Partner Even Though We Were Never Married?

The quick and easy answer is no.  Florida does not recognize common law marriage or de facto marriage.  Both of these are terms used in some states to describe a marriage that results from a man and a woman who live together and purport themselves to society as being married.  A common law marriage, specifically, results from a couple that has cohabitated as a married couple for the statutory period.  However, common law marriage has not been recognized in Florida since 1968.  A de facto marriage has been described as a “domestic partnership outside of marriage.”  The only mention of a de facto marriage in the Florida Statutes is in 61.14(1)(b)(3) and states that Florida “does not recognize a de factor marriage.”

Alimony is continued support awarded to a spouse after the termination of a legally recognized marriage.  If a person is involved in a financially supportive relationship but does not have that relationship legalized with a ceremony and a license, then it is not a marriage, according to the state of Florida.  And if it is not a marriage, then there will be no award of alimony.  Therefore, a non-recognized relationship, such as common law or de facto marriage, does not provide a non-married person the relief of alimony.

Some states allow a person to seek palimony when a non-marital supportive relationship ends.  Florida is not one of these states.  Palimony is a term that fits with paramour (describing a lover and not a spouse) and describes a type of financial support that may be awarded.  States that allow palimony are also the states that recognize common law and de facto marriage.

While you won’t likely find financial relief in family court when your non-marital relationship ends, there may still be a way to recover. You may be able to recover under contract law.

Contact us as to talk about your case. Maybe we can help.