“Marvin” actions (named after the California Supreme Court’s decision in Marvin v. Marvin; also sometimes referred to as “Palimony”) are the vehicle by which a non-marital partner can enforce written or oral agreements by a former partner to share property or provide support. They can be of critical importance where a long term couple lived together for a substantial period of time before entering into a legally recognized union (i.e. marriage or domestic partnership), or never entered into a legal union, and one partner relied on the other for support during this period.
Because "Marvin" actions are not based on a legally-recognized familial relationship, they must be brought in civil court (not family court), following civil procedures and rules. Wald & Thorndal is one of the only family law firms that has deep expertise in this area and regularly handles simple and complex "Marvin" claims.
With his many years of civil litigation experience, Paul W. Thorndal, a Certified Family Law Specialist*, understands how to handle both pure “Marvin” claims, and hybrid “Marvin”/marital disputes (i.e. where the same couple lived together as both non-marital and marital partners). As an experienced litigator in this very complex area of law, Mr. Thorndal offers his clients a candid assessment of their chances of success and an array of options for addressing their legal needs.
*The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization