Alimony Factors & Tax Issues Facing Civil Union Partners & Support in Long Term Partnerships & Equitable Distribution Factors
How is a Civil Union Dissolved?
According to the Civil Union Act, when a civil union couple wants to 'divorce' they can file a complaint for 'Dissolution of a Civil Union' in Family Court. The dissolution is governed by divorce laws and principles. However, because gay and lesbian couples could not enter into a civil union in New Jersey until 2007, there are also various equity principles that must be considered when long-term same-sex couples have lived together as if they were "married".
Is a Civil Union Partner Entitled to Alimony?
Yes, well a civil union partner can be entitled to spousal support. When civil union partners choose to dissolve their civil union, the supported partner will be entitled to alimony / spousal support in the same manner that a supported married spouse would be. In New Jersey most dissolution and divorce cases settle prior to trial, and thus it is important that you retain an attorney that understands the distinctions between a dissolution and a divorce. "Alimony" is one of those areas that requires an attorney with experience in handling a civil union dissolution.
Alimony Factors & Tax Issues Facing Civil Union Partners & Support in Long Term Relationships & Equitable Distribution Factors
How is Equitable Distribution Decided in a Distribution of a Civil Union?
Whether or not to award equitable distribution upon the dissolution of a civil union will be decided in the same manner as during a divorce, based on sixteen factors. The first step in the process is for the attorneys to marshal the assets and debts, to determine what assets are subject to distribution. Based on existing case law and a plain reading of the equitable distribution statute, only those assets and debts acquired during the civil union are subject to distribution. However, because same-sex couples were unable to enter into a civil union until 2007, it is important to retain an attorney that is familiar with the various equity arguments that should be considered for couples in long term relationships.