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What is palimony?

As societal norms change in Clarksville, so too do many of the common definitions assigned to certain relationships and associations within the local community. Take cohabitation, for example. As recently as 10-15 years ago, living together without being married may have been considered a taboo. Yet U.S. Census data from 2012 showed that 7.8 million couples were cohabitating during that year. If you have chosen to cohabitate with a partner, you should know that while such a relationships may preserve you from dealing with some of the issues inherent with matrimony, you also may have little to no recourse when it comes to receiving support should your relationship end.

Enter the idea of palimony, or support paid following the separation of an unmarried couple. Typically, only those states that recognize common law marriages offer any sort of opportunity to collect palimony. Where Tennessee does not, your only option for collecting palimony payments may be to establish that expectation through a cohabitation agreement.

A cohabitation agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it sets contractual guidelines regarding what obligations both sides of a relationship should have were it to end. Along with establishing the expectation of palimony, such an agreement may also address issues such as:

  • Child support
  • Property division
  • Debt allocation
  • Estate succession rights

In order for you to enforce a palimony provision of a cohabitation agreement, the agreement itself must be validated. This is done by both you and your partner signing it. You also mist have a witness to the signing that can confirm you both signed the agreement under your own free will.