What to Know About New Jersey’s Civil Union Laws and History

Civil unions for same-sex couples and couples over the age of 62 have been legal since 2004 under the Civil Union Act. Today, same-sex marriage is legal in every state due to the 2015 Supreme Court decision.

However, existing civil unions were not automatically converted into marriages. This requires domestic partners to take legal action for their civil union to be considered a marriage. This means that many couples are still defined as civil unions.

Our legal team at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark is experienced in handling matters involving legal separation, whether you are dissolving a civil union or filing for divorce. For assistance with your separation matters, give our firm a call today to learn more about how we can assist you and your civil union.

What issues have to be resolved to legally end a civil union?

Essentially, partners who are dissolving a civil union will need to face similar issues that a divorcing couple will face. The following issues will need to be resolved to end a civil union:

  • Alimony and Spousal Support: In some cases, one partner will receive regular alimony payments from the other to maintain the standard of living that they had during the civil union.
  • Child Custody: New Jersey recognizes legal and physical custody as separate issues. Physical custody refers to where the child will live and spend their time while legal custody refers to who has the legal authority to make important decisions in the child’s life including medical or education decisions.
  • Child Support: Our legal team likes to refer to child support as money for the sake of the child, rather than money for the sake of the parent. Our firm can review your case to discover what is owed on standard New Jersey formulas.
  • Division of Assets: To legally end a civil union, household assets must be divided. Spouses will need to decide what happens with your property, owned businesses, debts, retirement assets, and more.

If you have any further questions regarding ending a civil union and what to expect during the process, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced family law firm. To learn more about our attorneys who are experienced in Alternative Dispute Resolution methods like mediation, arbitration, and collaboration, give our firm a call today to schedule your initial consultation.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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