New jersey same-sex marriage law

Regardless of whether or not same-sex couples choose to marry or to remain in civil unions or domestic partnerships, they should be aware that not all other countries will recognize their legal unions as valid.

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Civil union and domestic partner couples must be prepared for possible confusion regarding rights when traveling from state-to-state as well as out of the country, as there is no federal uniformity as to these alternate forms of intimate partnership. As an extra measure of security, some couples may wish to have an attorney draft financial and health care powers of attorney for themselves and for any children they may have, and be sure to carry such documents with them when traveling.

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This can help protect rights should unanticipated circumstances arise; for example, if one partner needs to go to an emergency clinic or hospital. When in doubt, a consultation with an attorney can help put any ongoing concerns to rest.

The state of New Jersey recognizes all unions that were legally formed in another country or state. This means that while you are in New Jersey, you will continue to benefit from the legal protections of whatever form of partnership you entered into in another state or country. It also means that you must legally end any such relationship through the appropriate court procedure before you are free to enter into a new marriage, civil union or domestic partnership in New Jersey. No matter where you entered into your legal relationship, you may be able to terminate it in New Jersey as long as one partner has been a resident of the state for at least one year.

Ending a domestic partnership, however, tends to involve fewer legal issues, due to the differences in rights discussed above. In addition, same-sex couples in marriages and civil unions may face certain issues more frequently that opposite-sex couples.

Gay Marriage Comes to New Jersey

Many non-biological parents in same-sex relationships pursue second-parent adoption. Parental rights in same-sex relationships can be complex.

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Other issues that often impact LGBT parents include rights in assisted reproduction or psychological parenting. For more information on issues affecting current or prospective LGBT parents, see:.

Same-sex marriages start in New Jersey - CNN

Step-Parent and Second Parent Adoption. If you have questions about same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships, or about your rights as a parent in a same-sex relationship, we can help. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys are knowledgeable about all legal aspects of LGBT relationships and we can assist you with adoption, second-parent adoption, de facto or psychological parent status, as well as all phases of your divorce or dissolution. Call us today: to schedule your free initial consultation. Both of these concepts are dealt with by the court and determined through application of a variety of factors.

One of the most important factors at issue with same-sex divorces is the length of the marriage.


Obviously, same-sex marriages are likely to be shorter in duration than heterosexual marriages simply because same-sex couples were not legally allowed to marry until almost two years ago, and were only permitted to enter into civil unions since when The Civil Union Act was signed into law by then-Governor Jon Corzine. However, because same-sex marriage is a relatively new concept in New Jersey, there have been significantly fewer same-sex divorces in the state and, therefore, case law addressing the award of alimony and equitable distribution in same-sex divorces are in infancy and not yet developed.

However, this is the exact scenario in which same-sex couples are more disadvantaged then heterosexual couples because they only received the right to marry. Consider a hypothetical situation in which a couple is divorcing in They have been together as if they were a married couple since , but were only officially married in In reality, they have only been married for a year, but the relationship itself has lasted much longer. The dependent spouse could potentially argue that they should be awarded a greater alimony award because the court should consider the fact that they were not legally allowed to get married and this is why the marriage is technically so short.

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Again, same-sex marriage and thus, same-sex divorce, is in its infancy in the Garden State, so it is impossible to know precisely how a court will rule in a scenario like this. Another issue is cohabitation. Same-sex couples in New Jersey have had no other option but to live together without legal recognition.