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Old 06-22-2012, 01:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Can boyfriend of 5 years take parts of busines & house?

Hello, my mom has been living with her boyfriend for 5 years. She owns her own business under her name only, but her boyfriend has been an employee since the business started. He keeps threating her if she leaves him, he is going to sue her because he feel he has put in more work into the business and take part of it. She also want to buy a house under her name only, in cash; but she is scared that if they do decide to seperate he actually has a right to claim something in the future.


I would think he has nothing to claim because they are not married, but she scared becasue she heard from someone that after a long term relationship, they actually have the right to claim something.

please help, thanks
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Since they are not married no martial property will exist, but it is possible that through a doctrine known as Quantum Meruit he can obtain some money from the business. He would need to prove he did more to help it grow than what his salary is worth and he will have the burden of proving that. The value of the business and the specifics would need to be explained to an attorney, but if they are not married he will not have an automatic claim to the business.

As for the house if she pays for it with her own money it is hers, but she should document this payment. I don't know what state your in some have community property, some have marital property, and this can make a difference. However, if your mother buys the house and keeps only her name on the title and purchases it PRIOR to marriage then it is hers. If they get married and then she buys the house it will create a very difficult situation particularly if it is a community property state. However, there are no automatic property rights for boyfriend's and girlfriends unless your in a state that recognizes common law marriage. If they are common law married then he may have a right, but I believe the majority of states have done away with that.

Explaining the specifics to an attorney may be helpful, but the boyfriend does not have an automatic right to anything of your mothers and your mother does not have an automatic right to anything of the boyfriends if they are not married.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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rgriff is right here are some articles explaining community property http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...e-divorce.html

and also quantum meruit which can be referred to as unjust enrichment http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...nrichment.html

Since they are not married the BF has no automatic claim to anything and your mother has not automatic claim to any of his property. Unless this is a common law marriage state, but even then I don't think 5 years would be enough and not many states even have that.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The above posters are correct and in all reality you need to determine if this boyfriend who claims to have done so much work will actually follow through with a lawsuit. I am an attorney and that doesn't sound like a great case since they are not married and if he actually has time to sue his girlfriend he probably is not that valuable.

It is important to realize litigation is very difficult and few people follow through with their threats of suing. As the posters above mentioned they are not married so this is not community property. Explained here http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...e-divorce.html

The only potential issue is if they are in one of the common law marriage states listed here. http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...d-divorce.html . If they are legally married then they would have to divorce and some of the assets may be given to him, but it is unlikely he would get half and again the majority of the documents would be considered Separate property. http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...-property.html
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