Palimony without cohabitation?

Through the rise of palimony law, courts in New Jersey have laid out a bright line against its being awarded in cases where a couple did not live together. Now, however, the state’s high court is being urged to overturn that rule and open the door to claims for compensation by a broader class of romantic partners (Michael Booth, “N.J. High Court Hears Pitch for Palimony Sans Cohabitation”, New Jersey Law Journal, Jan. 23). Two years ago an appellate judge upheld the bar to recovery:

“Without such a bright-line requirement, the concept of ‘marital-type’ relationship is unacceptably vulnerable to duplicitous manipulation,” Judge Jose Fuentes wrote in Levine v. Konvitz. “Requiring cohabitation also provides a measure of advance notice and warning, to both parties to a relationship, and to their respective family members, that legal and financial consequences may result.”

(Michael Booth, “Despite 70-Year Romance, Palimony Is Denied for Lack of Cohabitation”, NJLJ, Feb. 17, 2006).


  • The two continued to maintain a relationship that was sometimes romantic. They would see each other when Levine’s husband was away on frequent business trips, and Konvitz, a wealthy insurance executive, showered her with gifts, cash and a condominium, according to the suit.

    But though Levine’s relationship with Konvitz was open and above board, they never lived together — a fact that the appeals court last week found fatal.

    This must be a new definition of above board that I am not familiar with.

    Jeanette Levine, now 85, sued her longtime lover, Philip Konvitz, in 2004 after Konvitz, then 91, began to slip into dementia and turned over his finances to his son and to a friend. He died that year.

    And yes it is about the money.

  • When isn’t it about money.

  • Where does this slippery slope end? Men get screwed hard in divorce courts, so many men have stopped marrying. That being an unacceptable bar to a woman taking a man’s financial assets, they invented palimony so women can take take the assets of men they aren’t married to. Now, they’re asking for palimony for people who don’t cohabit. Once you’ve established that, there’s little philosophical basis to reject mandatory financial support for girlfriends. Isn’t that what’s being established here, that it’s a woman’s right to be financially supported by her sex partners, regardless of mere formalities like marriage?

  • “And yes it is about the money.”

    At that age, I assume it’s not about the sex….

  • Were the New Jersey palimony “laws” established by the New Jersey legislature or by the New Jersey courts?

  • Bob Smith is on to something.
    Support for sex. That’s what this group of women really want? Legalized prostitution?

  • This is almost amazing, a real Bridges of Madision county, and it’s obvious her kidletts desire his dole to continue!

    He is dead, she has one foot firmly planted in the same place, yet despite all, somebody is really gonna get phuked.

    I’ve got a feeling the attorney working on this has 55% stake in the outcome.

    Oh and I love the Sex for change line as well. It’s just too obvious for it to not be true.

  • Next?…One night stands??? All this at least could certainly put a damper on make up sex, causing second thoughts from worries of long term financial responsibilities. A slippery when wet slope indeed.

  • […] Courts up to now have maintained a bright-line rule of not entertaining palimony claims unless a couple has cohabited, such a rule significantly improving people’s degree of certainty about which former romantic partners might suddenly emerge with a financial claim. But of course when you have bright-line rules of this sort, not as many people get to sue, so the New Jersey high court has now made itself the first state high court to overthrow the rule, inviting claims where the totality of the facts and circumstances “would cause one of the partners to believe a relationship existed, that it was similar to a marriage,” to quote Chatham, N.J. lawyer Alan Zegas (Tom Hester, “Palimony ruling sets precedent in Jersey”, Star-Ledger; NJLJ; AP/Cherry Hill Courier-Post*). Earlier here. […]