A registered domestic partnership NJ is a written contract which allows a formal legal relationship between two unmarried individuals either of the same or opposite sex to live together and share a domestic life just like married couples. A domestic partnership is not similar to a marriage but this type of relationship allows a couple of the same or opposite sex gets certain rights and obligations that married couples get. It could be pension funds, division of property or other assets upon separation or death, without being married. This type of relationship generally gives couples more rights than civil unions, but not to have all the rights as a marriage.
You need to be well informed and aware of the legal requirements and bindings if you are in a domestic partnership. First off, you need to sign a domestic partnership NJ agreement. If you fail to sign a legal contract, you are exposing yourself to much greater risks than other married couples or couples in a civil union.
It is always advisable to develop a written contract early on while your partner is doing well and healthy. It will safeguard your future and help you avoid costly legal fees in the future if things fall apart. Without a written agreement, nothing can be assigned or enforced to either of the partners. If you are living with someone of the same sex or not without having married or having established a domestic partnership NJ in writing, then you have no legal right or responsibility conferred by marriage or civil union. When there is a breach of trust and the relationship fails, none of the partners are entitled to a pension or annuity, unless the court knows the existence of an implicit contract between the partners.
So without a written contract, you or your partner in the relationship cannot inherit each other’s property upon death or separation, and neither one of you will be held responsible for the debts of the other, unless the person agrees to assume the responsibility.
Domestic Partnership NJ Registration and Requirements
In order to register as domestic partners in NJ, you and your partner must complete and sign an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership. Both of you should be present in front of a notary while signing the agreement. Then, you and your partner will file the appeal together with a Local Registrar of Vital Statistics by paying a certain fee required to process it. Once the process is completed, a Certificate of Domestic Partnership will be issued confirming that you and your partner are registered domestic partners in the State of New Jersey. You can get a copy of the certificate from the Local Registrar of Vital Statistics or at the State Registrar’s Office of Vital Statistics. It may also be noted that same sex couples have the legal right to marriage in New Jersey.
According to law in the state of New Jersey, same-sex couples who are 18 years and older can apply for a domestic partnership registration. The age requirement for opposite-sex couples is 62 years or older. A female partner doesn’t necessarily have to register using her maiden name and can opt to use either her maiden name or legal name for registration. Couples considering New Jersey domestic partnership registration should also meet certain criteria like:
- You and your partner should not be related by blood. You cannot enter into a domestic partnership agreement with your direct blood relatives or who are related to the fourth degree of consanguinity. Consanguinity is a term used to describe the biological and blood relationships between people. You may marry your second cousin but most likely not your first cousin.
- You and your partner should be living together in the same house in New Jersey. In cases where both or either one of the partner is not from New Jersey, either one of you should be registered under New Jersey state-administered retirement system. A document issued by the Division of Pensions and Benefits like a personal benefits statement or a 1099R or a Certificate of Pension Membership should be provided as proof.
- Neither one of you should be married or engaged in another domestic partnership agreement. Neither one of you should have been in a domestic partnership agreement that ended in the past 180 days unless it was due to death of a partner.
- You and your partner should have proof of joint financial responsibilities like joint finances, joint ownership of properties.
- You and your partner should be responsible for each other’s living expenses.
- You and your partner should be seriously committed to the relationship.
Every state has a different law and as such the domestic partnership registered in the State of New Jersey may or may not be recognized in another state. So if you are moving away from New Jersey to another state, it is best to check with and consult the laws of the concerned state.
All couples go through different phases in their relationship. There are ups and downs. There are situations where problems and conflicts among the couples leave the relationship beyond repair. In such cases where separation seems to be the only way out, either partner can request a termination of the domestic partnership agreement by approaching the court.
Domestic partners are entitled to certain legal benefits. And as in any contract, a domestic partnership agreement must be carefully designed and developed to define in detail the rights and obligations of both partners. It will help you secure your future and protect you from unnecessary legal hassles in case of separation. So whether you are planning to enter into a domestic partnership or seeking to terminate one, it is always advisable to consult an experienced attorney who will help you understand the laws of the state. Our expert lawyers can help you understand your rights and benefits that you are entitled to as New Jersey domestic partners. With our years of expert we can review your domestic partnership NJ case and provide the best legal assistance for you.
Our firm specializes in all areas of family law relating to children, child support and custody. Your situation and your case are important to us. For questions about your particular case, please call and schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Call 732-414-6669 and get the legal advice you need.