‘In the summer of 2010 the man I lived with for 22 years started his own business and after 3 months of running it from home he left us. We have 2 children whom he hasn’t supported since he left. Is there anyway I can claim half of the business proceeds? While he was here I did all the advertising and computer work for it. In 2004 he fell off a roof and his lawyer brought suit against the insurance company on his and my behalf. In 2010 he got a settlement but said my name wasn’t listed and cashed the check (that’s how he started his business). Is there anything I can legally do to claim at least what I feel I’m entitled to?’
You don’t say in what state this occurred, but in nearly all states there is little protection for partners who are not legally married. Things accumulated during the relationship are not considered joint property, and will belong to the acquiring partner. This is one of the main legal benefits of marriage – that assets acquired by one are considered joint assets.
Child support, however, is another matter, and whether you are married or not does not make a bit of difference; he is required to support the children, and you should consult with a family law attorney soon to get an action started to establish paternity and child support.