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Sesame Street character involved in precedent-setting split

Many Scranton residents may not have heard of "palimony," even though it is part of New Jersey law -- and that's okay, because the palimony provision rarely comes into effect (at least relative to common divorce issues). Palimony is a way for unmarried couples who break up to earn an alimony (or spousal support) equivalent. It is difficult to prove, as the law requires some written form of confirmation to apply palimony.

In some cases, though, palimony is a crucial aspect to the litigation. One of the people in the split may truly require the palimony payments to get his or her life back on track. These cases can be complex though, and they require the help of an experienced divorce attorney.

Now consider the situation facing the actor of a long-recurring character on the iconic children's show "Sesame Street." Roscoe Orman plays Gordon on the show; but in real life, he was in a relationship with a woman for 39 years before finally calling it quits. Orman and his ex-girlfriend share four children. It was undoubtedly a very serious relationship that came to an emotional end.

But in what is considered a precedent-setting ruling, a judge awarded Orman's ex-girlfriend palimony even though she did not have written documentation. She claims that Orman promised her support for life, and that this verbal agreement should have been upheld. Indeed, the judge agreed: "They were in all respects husband and wife," the judge said. It is unknown how much Orman will have to pay in palimony.

Source: New Jersey Star-Ledger, "Sesame Street's Roscoe Orman loses palimony battle with mother of their four children," Thomas Zambito, Sept. 24, 2013

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