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The Family Law Court Recognizes The Invisible Labor Of Wives, But Not Of Girlfriends


You have a legal right to sue anyone whose negligence or intentional actions caused you to suffer financial losses, but the burden of proof is on you as a plaintiff to show that it was the other party’s responsibility to prevent those financial losses.  If it is a breach of contract dispute, you must prove that you signed a contract with the defendant, and that the defendant did not abide by its terms.  If it is a premises liability lawsuit, you must prove that the accidental injury occurred while you were a business invitee at a place of business owned or operated by the defendant.  Divorce cases operate on a different set of assumptions, however. No one wins or loses; rather, the court aims to divide the parties’ marital property in the fairest possible way.  All property acquired during the marriage is subject to division, regardless of who earned what, unless the parties signed a prenuptial agreement indicating otherwise.  Stay-at-home parents have as much right to a fair share of the value of the marital home as C-suite executives.  The recent news headlines about divorce courts in various countries that awarded six-figure payouts to women for the domestic labor they performed during their marriages allude to this fact.  Money is not the only thing a spouse can contribute to a marriage.  As for retroactive compensation for the invisible labor performed by unmarried domestic partners, all bets are off.  A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can only help you get so much marital property out of a marriage that never existed.

You Can’t Hide Behind an Arbitration Agreement in a Divorce: A Cautionary Tale

Tiger Woods and Erica Herman were a couple from 2017 until 2022.  When their relationship started getting serious, the parties signed an agreement promising to resolve all their disputes through arbitration instead of in court.  This month, Herman filed a lawsuit against Woods, requesting to set aside the arbitration agreement and seeking $30 million in damages.  Part of the requested amount is compensation for the financial losses Herman suffered when Woods kicked her out of the house where they lived together; the house is the property of a trust with Woods, his daughter Sam, and his son Charlie as beneficiaries.  The rest is compensation for the professional services that Herman claims to have performed for Woods during their cohabitation.

Everyone knows that spouses are financial partners who share professional and family caregiving responsibilities that are at times difficult to represent in the form of a spreadsheet.  This may also be the case for unmarried domestic partners, but they do not have equitable distribution on their side when it comes time to cash out on all the invisible labor they have been doing.  There has never been a better reason to put a ring on it.

Contact Schwartz | White About Relationships That Are Marriage in All but Name

A South Florida family law attorney can help you solve property division issues with a former domestic partner to whom you were never legally married.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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