On October 18, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court recognized same-sex marriages in the State of New Jersey. As part of that decision, the Court said, “[S]ame-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today. The harm to them is real, not abstract or speculative.” The rights couples to same-sex marriages became clear as a result of this landmark decision. The decision also brought up the issue of dissolving civil unions in the same manner as a divorce. And, on what grounds for dissolution would be available to a same-sex couple.
Notably, the applicable statute does not address dissolution of civil unions on no-fault grounds. The statute provides for seven (7) different grounds for the dissolution of a civil union. Irreconcilable differences are not on the list. This issue remained up in the air until the Honorable L.R. Jones held that same-sex couples can legally dissolve their civil unions based upon irreconcilable differences in Groh v. Groh. Judge Jones went on to say, “[b]ased upon the near-identical nature of the respective causes of action for divorce and dissolution of civil union . . . the Legislature’s intent was to create a symmetry between the recognized causes of action for divorce and dissolution of a civil union . . .”
Please contact me if you are seeking to dissolve your same-sex marriage. Or, contact me if you would like to understand more about the process and the services available to you. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.