How do you splitq business if not married?

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How do you splitq business if not married?

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 7 years and started a flooring company. We both worked daily together to start and build this. He introduced me as his wife. We grossed about $140,000 a year; purchased and have about $25,000 in tools. Now that we are splitting up I am out of work and income and he gets everything. Is there anything I can do to have an income for a short period of time from him, a settlement of some kind, and or part of the tools and such? Would I be wasting time and money by going to a lawyer?

Asked on August 19, 2011 Nebraska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an attorney. You may be able to establish some interest in the business, if you can show that you invested in it in some fashion (e.g. put money into it; donated property to it; worked at below market wage for what you were doing) based on an agreement or understanding that you would own part of the business and/or be repaid in some fashion. You need an attorney to evaluate all the circumstances of how you worked there, what was said, what you put into the business.

You would most likely not be entitled to anything for being his girlfriend however, since "girlfriend" is not a relationship recognized by law. Once in a great while, you hear about a successful "palimony" suit, so you could discuss whether you might have a cause of action on this ground with your attorney, but it is doubtful. Your best bet is probably to establish an interest in the business.


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