Over the last half century, California law has evolved tremendously when it comes to same-gender cohabitation and spousal support.  It has gone from penalizing same-gender cohabitation by the termination of spousal support and the requirement of restitution from the date of cohabitation to extending the same rights, obligations, and privileges of marriage to same-gender cohabitating partners.

Same-gender couples should now be prepared to assume the benefits of cohabitation as well as the burdens that have always been placed on cohabitating couples of the opposite-sex.  They should recognize that the sharing of household expenses reduces the need for spousal support regardless of the genders involved.  The reality is that the presumption of decreased need for support upon cohabitation is a gender-neutral issue.

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