Cohabitants may litigate to obtain property, support, a share of an estate, or for derivative benefits such as wrongful death or survivor's benefits. This lesson reviews theories of recovery for cohabiting couples who were not formally married. The lesson explores contract, quasi-contract and equitable theories of recovery such as constructive and resulting trusts, quantum meruit, promissory estoppel and implied contract. Note that not all states allow all remedies reviewed in this lesson.
This lesson does not cover domestic partnerships or common law marriage. The lesson can be used as an introduction to the materials or for review.