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In 2004, the New Jersey Legislature enacted the Domestic Partnership Act, which allowed same-sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships. Domestic partnerships were also available to heterosexual couples, age 62 and older. Under the Domestic Partnership Act, a couple could share certain limited benefits such as healthcare and inheritance and property rights. However, these benefits are not available in domestic partnerships to the same extent as they are available to married couples.
If you have questions about domestic partnerships / civil unions or same sex marriage in New Jersey, arrange a consultation with the lawyers at our firm. Contact Riordan Family Law at (973) 577-4118.
In 2006, after the New Jersey Supreme Court decided the case Lewis v. Harris and found that same sex couples must be afforded all the same rights and benefits as heterosexual married couples, the Legislature responded with a bill allowing for civil unions of same sex couples. The attorneys at Riordan Family Law are well versed in the law surrounding civil unions. We are happy to assist our clients in cases involving these laws.
As part of the civil union law, the state formed a commission to consider the question of whether civil unions provided equality to same sex couples. The findings of the commission, released in 2008, determined that the civil union law did not provide equality and further proposed that marriage laws should be gender neutral.
Under the civil union law, a couple joined in a civil union would automatically terminate their domestic partnership; however, couples who have not elected civil unions and remained in domestic partnerships could maintain that status. Currently, new domestic partnerships are available to any couple that is at least 62 years of age, regardless of their gender.
The attorneys at Riordan Family Law are well equipped to guide clients who are interested in same sex marriage. We are also able to them with the sometimes complex issues surrounding forming families and dissolving relationships. We encourage you to contact a lawyer from our office today!
Call Riordan Family Law at (973) 577-4118 to schedule your consultation, or fill out the form on our website.