The law does not confer the same rights on unmarried couples as it does on married couples. Unmarried couples can however confer each other with similar rights by entering into a contact with each other. The California Supreme Court in Marvin v. Marvin held that such contracts are valid. In this case, the court upheld the validity of an express or implied contact between two unmarried persons living together. These contracts are valid in most states. However in most states, these contracts must be in writing. A few cases have resulted in the court refusing to enforce such contracts.
A contract between two unmarried individuals living together will be held an unenforceable if the contract includes a consideration for the sexual services provided by one of the parties to the contract. For example if the contract says that one partner will share the house with the other in exchange for the companionship of the other, the court will not enforce the contract. Also it is very difficult to prove an oral contract. In the absence of substantial evidence of the existence of an oral contract, courts will be reluctant to enforce the contract.