General Question

flo's avatar

What would the court decide in the following scenario?

Asked by flo (7744 points ) January 29th, 2013

If let’s say:
You lived with some multi-billionaire for many years hoping he will marry you,
-and on the outset he absolutley made it clear that there will be no marriage, (it was proven in court),
-and you married him just for his money, (if it was proven in court)
would you get alimony or would the court tell you to “get out of town you shameless gold digger.”
And by “the court” I mean in any jurisdiction you know about.

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22 Answers

janbb's avatar

That doesn’t make sense. If he said he wasn’t going to marry you, how were you married to him? And how could it be proven that someone married someone just for their money.

zenvelo's avatar

In California you don’t even get to assume spousal support until you’ve been married 10 years.

After the Lee Marvin case, she would only be entitled to any promises he made like “you don’t have to work” or “I’ll cover your rent”. But she’d have to prove that. Without that, she’s out on her own.

flo's avatar

@janbb. This is not me by the way, it is just a scenario. No marriage occured, you just lived together. And let’s say the billionaire found an used some clever way of proving it, let’s say an ex friend, and you don’t deny it.

burntbonez's avatar

It doesn’t matter why you marry unless you have a prenuptial agreement. . All that matters is relevant law. If there was a divorce, and the court determined that alimony was due, then you would get alimony. I’m not sure what the grounds for alimony are.

In general, the assets of the couple, no matter who was responsible for them, are shared evenly between the parties, with adjustments made for child support and support in a style to which the parties have been accustomed, for a certain period of time.

gailcalled's avatar

If you’re not married, then you cannot get divorced and thus cannot collect alimony.

flo's avatar

@zenvelo and do you get 50% of the multi-billion, no matter what in California?

There was no marriage everyone, there is no pre-nup, so there is no divorce, they just broke up. and she took him to court asking for alimony as much as it doesn’t make sense.

gailcalled's avatar

Are you talking about a true scenario where the woman is asking for compensation due to precedent being set?

If so, you are using the wrong vocabulary.

If the man set precedent by supporting this woman for a long time and she cannot work, she may well have a case.

flo's avatar

@gailcalled It is better to discuss it as a scenario. Let’s say far from not being able to work she can and has been making a ton of money.

I don’t know what “compensation due to precedent being set?” means.

flo's avatar

“I love you for you, not for your money” but it is not true. Fraud, no?
By the way let’s say he encouraged her to work anyway while they were together?

burntbonez's avatar

Not fraud. There is no knowing what goes on inside someone else’s head. Anyone who thinks they know deserves what they get. We should look to a person’s behavior to see who they are. Not what they say.

Judi's avatar

I think that the court might declare a common law marriage if they had been together for several years.
The ones who really make out in these situations are the attorneys. If it were cut and dry we wouldn’t need attorneys.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

@gailcalled has a gift for disregarding the content because she can’t comprehend an entire post if one error is made (but in this case your post doesn’t make sense)

Unless you are legally married (or have some contractual agreement) you are not entitled to any of his assets, regardless of Co habitation. If you are married then alimony will be handled by the judge based on different factors…That simple.

YARNLADY's avatar

In California, each spouse owns one half of the marital assets, but the pre-marital assets belong only to the spouse who had them before the marriage, and that doesn’t change.

Response moderated (Spam)
gailcalled's avatar

@flo: I don’t know what “compensation due to precedent being set?” means.

If this was a long-term relationship (many years, as you stated) and if he had supported her
and did not expect her to contribute financially in an way, then he has established a precedent or pattern of behavior and expectation.

If she has a history of making a yearly income high enough to live off of comfortably, then she has a very shaky case. Embittered and angry women have gone to court for less. Sometimes they have received compensation.

And by scenario, I meant that you were talking about real people rather than inventing a fabricated story.

Judi's avatar

I still say it’s a crap shoot. That’s why people pay attorneys. I would think that her chances of getting a settlement depend primarily on the skill of her attorney.

zenvelo's avatar

In California (which outlawed common law marriage in 1896) palimony can be declared if there is evidence of a contract. In Marvin vs Marvin, she could not prove the existence of the contract, so she lost. But the decision was that she would have been entitled if she could prove he said what she claimed.

Interesting that in California and in most states, it is handled in the regular civil court, only in New Jersey is it handled in the Family Law courts.

flo's avatar

@burntbonez Yes fraud. “There is no knowing what goes on inside someone else’s head.” Letters to ex-girlfriend one of which said: “I don’t even like him, never mind love him.”
The behaviour is she is going after more money than what is considered generous.
@Judi but even when it is cut and dry there is lawyers out to just win.

@HolographicUniverse ”...(but in this case your post doesn’t make sense)”
I posted in my second response above:
and she took him to court asking for alimony as much as it doesn’t make sense. So the court, because it doesn’t make sense, should throw her claim out of court.
I agree with your ”...you are not entitled to any of his assets, regardless of Co habitation”
And the verbal agreement (she stayed with him although he told her that there won’t be a marriage. So it is indeed simple.
Added: @YARNLADY That makes sense. Was it always that way? Some people have the impression that the pre-marriage assets as well get divided,
@gailcalled “Embittered and angry women have gone to court for less. Sometimes they have received compensation.” And the courts should stop rewarding gold diggers.
“then he has established a precedent or pattern of behavior and expectation.” That also helps gold diggers.
@Judi primarily ” depends on the skill of her attorney.” Yes skill in lying.
@zenvelo He gave her a ton more than the experts in this area expect. They referred to it as “generous”.

YARNLADY's avatar

@flo I read of one case where the groom toasted the bride saying “Half of everything I own is yours”. When he divorced her two years later the case went to court. He argued that it was just a figure of speech, but he lost.

Judi's avatar

@flo, it seems like you are just looking for validation of the answer you want. The truth is that it could be messy and expensive and most times it’s cheaper to arrive at a settlement than it is to fight with lawyers for years.

flo's avatar

@YARNLADY That is an ineteresting one for sure.
@Judi It shouldn’t be messy and expensive.

Judi's avatar

It shouldn’t be but it will be.

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