Even after gay marriage was legalized, same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships in New Jersey are still common. Richard C. Klein, Esquire, is a well-reputed South Jersey family law attorney with a strong background in helping clients to understand the issues specific to New Jersey civil unions.
The New Jersey Legislation provided same-sex couples in a civil union with the same rights and benefits as heterosexual married couples. Under the Civil Union Act, parties to a civil union have all of the same benefits, protections and responsibilities under the law, whether they derive from statute, administrative or court rule, public policy, common law or any other source of civil law, as are granted to spouses in a marriage. The laws of domestic relations, including annulment, premarital agreements, separation, divorce, child custody and support, property division and maintenance, and post-divorce spousal support, now apply to the parties to a civil union. However, it is important to be aware that the Act still fails to provide all of the protections of marriage. Thus, consulting with counsel to establish those rights clearly in the beginning is critical.
The Civil Union Act specifically provides that the dissolution of civil unions shall follow the same procedures and be subject to the same substantive rights and obligations that are involved in the dissolution of marriage. The grounds for dissolution of a civil union are the same as the grounds for divorce. The issues that arise during the dissolution of a civil union are very similar to those that arise in a traditional divorce. Civil union partners have essentially the same rights and obligations as those in a traditional marriage. There are issues related to equitable distribution including how to divide the assets and who assumes liability for debts. Civil unions also include an obligation to provide support for the other partner which is similar to alimony in a traditional divorce.
Richard C. Klein, ESQ. represents couples and families with family law matters. The firm handles all aspects of family law including those specifically related to civil unions for same-sex couples. Lawyer Richard C. Klein has over 30 years experience practicing law in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, and Salem County in New Jersey. He and his team of lawyers and paraprofessionals offer clients knowledgeable and compassionate legal representation in all family law matters, including divorce and dissolution of civil unions.