Do I have any rights to compensation from my partner of three years for ending the relationship?
Florida doesn't recognize common law marriages. Broward County extends benefits to domestic partners and provides a domestic partner registry. The city of West Palm Beach extends benefits to domestic partners.
Courts enforce many agreements between unmarried cohabitants regarding their property. These agreements may be implied, oral, or written. Implied agreements are unspoken "understandings" between two people which can be implied from their conduct. For example, if one party provides financial support for a live-in companion, a jury may find that the two had an "understanding" that support would always be provided -- even if the relationship broke up.
An oral agreement is an agreement made through spoken words. However, after a relationship breaks up, people often lie and the evidence of truth is hard to provide without written documents. Written agreements, while not always upheld, are the preferred method for creating binding obligations between the parties.
Cohabitants may contract regarding their property or hold property as joint tenants or tenants in common. In the absence of a prior agreement or common ownership, one party does not automatically gain rights in the property of the other party acquired during the period of cohabitation. Some states recognize an equitable claim, such as when one party has made contributions to property, in order to avoid unfair advantage to the other party.