The case depended on the extent to which the judge could conclude that there was an agreement or an understanding of how the landowner behaved. Nevertheless, a minority of state courts still refuse to apply cohabitation treaties and treat roommates as legal aliens for many reasons. These include persistent uncertainties about the consequences of living together on marriage and the desire for legislative and non-judicial intervention in such an important public institution. Legislators in those states did not respond. In any event, it is almost always better to negotiate a solution than to go to court, where the costs can become very high. If one of the partners contributes to the purchase and maintenance costs of the house in which you live, it will probably be entitled to a share of the house. If you intend that the property is the exclusive property of one of you, the cohabitation agreement must clearly state that any financial contribution from the other partner is a payment on the general cost of living and not for the home. In the legal world, in 1976, cohabitation broke out on stage with the trial of actor Lee Marvin by the woman who had lived with him for 6 years (and took his name), Michelle Marvin. In that case, the issue was whether Lee Michelle had made a legally enforceable promise to share property and support her for the rest of her life, even after the end of her relationship. In the years leading up to Marvin v. Marvin, it was generally agreed that, because cohabitation was not socially desirable, agreements between communities of life for the exchange of money or property were unenforceable; they were tainted by “reflection” (something precious exchanged by one party for performance or the promise of performance by another) that was supposed to be part of any agreement on living together: non-marital sex. However, the California Supreme Court`s opinion held that sexual relations were dissociable from a common living agreement on financial matters, unless the treaty explicitly depends on the exchange of sexual relations.

Of course, a partner who wanted to impose such a contract had to prove its existence; However, California considered that it would impose not only written or explicit contracts, but also oral and tacit contracts. Moreover, even without a contract, the court was prepared to use its “just powers” to obtain justice. In other words, the court would rely on principles of fairness to achieve a fair result, even without relying on a specific legal standard, for example when the conduct of the parties (. B, for example, the provocation of unfair dependence or the gratuitousness of services) justifies it. Partner A is also not entitled to a share of the property, even if he or she contributed to the mortgage or paid in another way, for example. B to stay at home to take care of the children. So if Partner B doesn`t voluntarily accept an agreement, Partner A could become homeless if she can`t afford to go to court – (see boxed, right, in Pamela Curran`s case) and even in this case, there`s a limited chance of success. Recording your relationship can be a good way to protect your partner.

For example, a registered partner is in a stronger position if you die without leaving a will that names them as heirs. However, it is always useful to prepare an agreement on cohabitation and other appropriate documents (for example. B will). Similarly, with respect to standards applicable to current relations, states have maintained a clear line between marriage and cohabitation.