Never married and he leaves you high and dry (Jane you ignorant slut)

What happens when two people live together like a married couple, never get married, then he leaves her one day with nothing.  Take this situation and add to the mix an eccentric character actor and a promiscuous girlfriend (who went on to live with Dick Van Dyke until her death).  The result is Marvin v. Marvin 557 P.2d 106 (Cal. 1976).  

Triola (who had taken on the last name Marvin–even though they weren’t married) argued that the two had made an oral contract whereby Lee Marvin promised to take care of her.  At trial evidence showed that Triola was far from monogamous and Lee was  The case went up to the California Supreme Court, which held that as long as the basis for the contract wasn’t meretricious consideration, California courts will enforce contractual agreements for care, support, and division of property in spite of a lack of marriage.  That said, the court hardly gave Triola what she deserved–awarding a judgment of just over 100k when she asked for 3.6 million.

This type of claim has come to be known as Palimony, which is a bit of a misnomer.  The aggrieved party may also pursue quasi-contractual claims such as quantum meruit or a claim of fraud instead or in addition to the contractual claim that was made by Triola.

In addition to muddying the family law waters, the case gave us this brilliant skit with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin when SNL was still funny.

(If you are still offended by the heading to this article, you clearly didn’t watch the SNL skit above or have absolutely no sense of humor.)

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