Is spousal support available for unmarried couples that break up?

By Bari Zell Weinberger
November 10, 2017
Is spousal support available for unmarried couples that break up?

Unmarried partners have the option of establishing a type of legal cohabitation agreement that can outline terms of support should the relationship end. This agreement is more commonly known as a palimony agreement. Palimony can be especially important if one partner gave up their career to care for the kids, or there is a large disparity in income between the partners.

A palimony award is paid out in a lump-sum amount rather than in monthly amounts as alimony typically is. But partners have the ability to negotiate exact terms that they feel comfortable with. While alimony is based upon marital obligations, palimony is purely contractual. It’s a promise to provide support upon the conclusion of a relationship.

New Jersey law requires palimony agreements to be in writing. In order for the agreement to be deemed legally valid, New Jersey law also requires each party to have independent legal counsel at the time that the contract is created.


Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.

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November 10, 2017
Categories:  FAQs

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