Case Briefs- Social Change

Case Briefs- Social Change - Social Change Marvin v...

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Social’Change ’ Marvin’v.’Marvin ’ (nonmarital’relationships) ’ Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff and defendant lived in a nonmarital relationship, with an oral agreement to share equally all property accumulated. Upon dissolution of their relationship, plaintiff brought suit to enforce the oral agreement. Synopsis’of’Rule’of’Law.’The’Calif ornia’court’found’that’partners’in’nonmarital’relationships’ may’bring’claims’for’property’division’based’on’both’express’and’implied’contracts. Facts. Plaintiff and defendant lived together for seven years without marrying, with all property acquired during this time taken in defendant’s name. Plaintiff avers that she and defendant entered into an oral agreement where the parties would combine their efforts and earnings and share equally all property accumulated as a result of their efforts. Plaintiff agreed to give up a lucrative career as a singer and entertainer and assume the role of homemaker, with defendant agreeing to provide for all of plaintiff’s financial support. Defendant compelled plaintiff to leave his household in May of 1970, and continued to provide support to her until November of 1971. Thereafter, he refused to provide further support. Plaintiff brought suit to enforce the oral agreement, claiming that she was entitled to half the property and to support payments. The trial court granted judgment on the pleadings for the defendant. However,’a’contract’between’nonmarital’partners’is’unenforceable’only’to’the’extent’that’it’ explicitly’rests’on’the’consideration’of’meretricious’sexual’services.’ Courts’should’look’to’the’ consideration’underlyi ng’such’agreements’to’determine’there’enforcement. Previous’precedent’has’held’that’the’Family’Law’Act’suggests’that’property’accumulated’by’ nonmarital’partners’in’an’actual’family’relationship’should’be’divided’equally.’Although’ courts’have’generally’not ’ recognized’the’fact,’common’law’principles’hold’that’implied’ contacts’can’arise’from’the’conduct’of’the’parties.’ Courts’have’allowed’partners’to’retain’a’ proportionate’share’of’funds’or’property’contributed’to’a’relationship,’but’have’disallowed’ such’an’i nterest’based’on’contribution’of’services.’Because’the’Family’Law’Act’is’intended’to’ eliminate’fault’as’a’basis’for’dividing’marital’property,’implied’contractual’claims’should’be’ allowed’in’nonmarital’relationships. Results: o The Appellate Court found that Michelle suffered no harm due to her relationship with Lee. Lee had not been unjustly enriched from his relationship with Michelle, and had never acquired anything of value from Michelle through a wrongful act.
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