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Same-Sex Marriages & Irreconcilable Differences in NJ

 

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 jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com.

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