As a resident of California, you may have come across the term “Marvin Actions” at some point. But unless it has impacted you personally, there’s a good chance you’re unsure of the finer details.

This came about as the result of a 1976 California Supreme Court decision noting that non-marital partners have the legal right to enforce implied agreements related to property sharing or support as the result of separation.

In some ways, it’s similar to common law marriage, however, this doesn’t exist in the state of California. Here’s what you need to know:

  • It helps define community property rights: As noted above, common law marriage is not recognized in California, but Marvin Actions steps in to deal with situations in which unmarried individuals live together over an extended period of time. In this case, the law extends community property rights to the couple.
  • It applies to same-sex partners: Marvin Actions does not apply only to opposite sex cohabitants. If you’ve cohabitated with a same-sex partner for an extended period, you also have the legal right to make a Marvin Actions claim.
  • There are requirements: To start, the two individuals must enter into an agreement regarding property sharing or support in the event that the relationship is terminated in the future. This can include either a written or oral agreement, as long as both individuals agreed. For example, there may be an oral agreement that one individual would earn money to support the household while the other stayed home to care for their property. In this case, the person who did not work may be able to collect financial support in the event of a split.

If you think that you have a claim, here are some of the most important questions to answer:

  • How long did you live in the same home with the individual?
  • Do you have a written or oral agreement?
  • Did one individual financially support the other?
  • Did you purchase the home with joint funds?

A Marvin Actions claim is complex, so it’s critical to collect all the necessary information while learning more about your legal rights. Doing so will position you for success.