Palimony discovery can be the most difficult and time-consuming part of a palimony lawsuit. Remember, you, the plaintiff, have the burden to prove your claim in a palimony action. To do so, will require you, or your attorney to undertake discovery. Should palimony discovery not be undertaken, a seemingly sound pleading, may not result in an award should your claim not be supported by sufficient evidence. [Kurokawa v. Blum (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d 976, 983-984 [245 Cal.Rptr. 463]].
One of the most useful tools in palimony discovery is a deposition. Not only should you propound interrogatories and request documents but, palimony discovery should include the taking of defendant’s deposition. Moreover, the deposition should be taken in the early stages of the case to prevent a defendant from crafting a story to fit the evidence or facts.
The deposition should address: (1) Where and when the agreement was made; (2) Any consideration that may have been exchanged or contemplated; (3) Others who may have been present when the agreement was made; (4) Any terms of the agreement which may have addressed termination of the relationship, death of one party, or a subsequent marriage; (5) The amount of support to be provided and for how long; (6) Consideration for support or property interest; and, (7) How the sexual relationship may have affected the agreement.
Circumstantial Evidence Obtained in Palimony Discovery
Some of the most effective evidence which should be obtained and used for palimony discovery include: (1) Joint bank account statement; (2) Joint credit card accounts; (3) Mutually assumed loan obligations; (4) Any references to property as “ours,” “jointly,” or “held together” (5) Holding out the relationship as husband and wife; (6) One partners change of name; and (7) Property held in joint names and joint contributions toward acquisition of property.
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