What are my rights cohabitation of 15 years

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights cohabitation of 15 years

I have been wirh my boyfriend
for 15 years he proposed 4
years into relationship we just
never married. He has since
locked me out of our home and
refuses to let me access my
belongings. And i have not
worked for last six years. He
has benn taking care of my
needs ever since. Until today.

Do i have common law rights or
cohabitation rights please

Thank you carla jones

Asked on January 3, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your state does not recognize "common law marriage" (marriage created by living together as and holding yourselves out to others as married), so living together (cohabitating) does not give you any rights. He does not have to keep supporting you and does not have to let you keep living in a home owned or rented solely by him (though if you are on the title or lease, you are an owner or tenant, too, and may NOT be locked out; fellow owners or tenants  may not be removed by the other owner/tenant). However, even though you will have to leave shortly if the home is his solely, he cannot simply unilaterally lock you out like this: when someone is allowed to live in a home, to then remove them if they don't go voluntarily requires a legal action and a lock-out done by a sheriff or court officer. You should be able to go to the county court's clerk or customer service office, explain what happened, and apply for a court order to get back into the home temporarily--though as stated, it will be only temporary and he can file the proper legal action to remove you.
He also has to give your belongings: he has no right to keep or deny you access to anything you own. When you go to court to be let back into your space, you can also seek an order requiring that you be given your belongings.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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