Civil Unions & NJ Domestic Partnership Laws
New Jersey Domestic Partnership
In February 2007, a New Jersey law called the Civil Union Act took effect, granting same-sex couples the same rights, benefits, and protections under New Jersey state law as heterosexual married couples.
About civil unions
This highly controversial law gives civil union partners health, pension, and insurance benefits, but only under New Jersey state law. Under the provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), civil union partners do not have the same rights as married couples under federal law.
One key sticking point is that since civil unions do not carry the label of “marriage;” the partners are not considered spouses and therefore are still not eligible for many entitlements afforded to heterosexual married couples. Consult a New Jersey family lawyer at Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A. if you have questions about your rights under New Jersey’s civil union law.
About domestic partnerships
The civil union law does not repeal the New Jersey Domestic Partnership Act (DPA), which took effect in New Jersey in 2004. The DPA is a state law that grants couples certain basic rights, such as the right to make health care decisions and to receive tax exemptions.
If same-sex partners are in a domestic partnership and decide to enter into a civil union instead, their domestic partnership is automatically terminated. But if domestic partners decide not to enter into a civil union, their partnership remains in effect. While domestic partnerships could be formed by same-sex couples age 18 and older or opposite-sex couples 62 or older, with the Civil Union Act of 2007, the requirements for domestic partnerships were amended to same-sex or opposite-sex couples age 62 or older.
Dissolving civil unions
To terminate a domestic partnership, partners must file a request for termination with the New Jersey Superior Court. Dissolving a civil union is much like dissolving a heterosexual marriage, especially if the couple has children and/or property in common.. A party seeking to dissolve a civil union benefits from the help of a New Jersey divorce lawyer.
Civil union partners need a law firm like Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A., whose New Jersey family lawyers are familiar with the new laws and sensitive to the unique needs of civil union and domestic partners to insure that their rights are protected.
Contact our family and divorce law firm in New Jersey
At Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A., our attorneys can skillfully advise you about your legal options should you wish to dissolve your civil union or domestic partnership. We will provide you with outstanding representation and fight for your rights throughout the dissolution process, including the distribution of property and forming a child custody plan.
If you are looking for highly credentialed, well-respected New Jersey divorce lawyers, please call Cheryl Betten, the Firm Administrator for the Haddonfield, NJ offices of Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A. at 856-428-8334 ext. 258, or use our online contact form to schedule your initial consultation to discuss your immediate legal needs in a personal and confidential setting.
A divorce attorney or child custody lawyer from the Haddonfield, NJ offices of Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A. can provide legal advice and representation to clients throughout Southern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Pennsauken, Mount Holly, Pemberton, Northfield, Mays Landing, Riverside, Voorhees, Moorestown, Mullica Hill, Princeton, Marlton, Medford, Washington Township, Pitman, Woodbury, Mt. Laurel, Atlantic City, Vineland and all of Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester, Burlington and Camden County.