NBA Superstar Blake Griffin’s California Palimony Woes

Professional basketball player Blake Griffin made recent headlines, when reports surfaced that he’ll pay his ex-girlfriend a staggering $258,000 MONTHLY for child support. It turns out that the news was wrong, and he’ll pay much less ($32,000/month). While that amount may be insignificant for a sports superstar who earns over $40M annually, that’s still a lot of money for most of us.

Griffin’s jilted ex sued for:

  • breach of an oral relationship contract
  • “palimony” and
  • child support

based upon her station in life. California recognizes those grounds. Does Texas law permit a “palimony” lawsuit?

Texas (P)Alimony Laws

For married couples, ‘spousal support’ (sometimes called maintenance or alimony) is the legal term where one spouse pays to support the other.

Unmarried relationships are sometimes referred to as ‘common law marriages’. Palimony is where two unmarried people break up, but one spouse must pay monthly support to the other, post break-up (in the nature of alimony). Palimony isn’t a legal term.

Although some states allow alimony for partners who never married, Texas generally disfavors palimony. In fact, Texas Family Code 8.061 expressly prohibits palimony “between unmarried cohabitants under any circumstances”. [There are narrow exceptions in case of an annulment, which is the topic of a separate article.]

Station in Life?

Texas child support laws are much narrower than California’s. Texas focuses on a child’s needs, not her wants, luxuries or “station in life”. Extraordinary child support amounts are considered in exceptional cases (for example, a child with disabilities). Even private school tuition in Texas is considered a want or luxury, not a need.

Have Questions about Texas Alimony Laws? Don’t Delay. Contact an Experienced San Antonio, Texas Family Lawyer

Seeking palimony in Texas is extraordinarily difficult. The qualifications for an annulment, in combination with qualifications for alimony, mean that only very carefully prepared petitions will be approved. The best way to increase your chances of receiving palimony is to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who will be well-versed in Texas palimony laws and guide you through the process of seeking palimony.

The Law Office of Jaclyn Y. Roberson, PLLC is a family law and estate planning firm based in San Antonio serving the citizens of South and Central Texas.