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Palimony & Compensation for Unwed Couples in New Jersey

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Palimony Agreements in New Jersey


Compensation for unmarried Couples

In New Jersey, issues regarding Palimony may occur when couples choose to live together or cohabitate without legally marrying or joining together in a legally-recognized Civil Union. It's not uncommon for such partners to share duties and responsibilities, which ultimately may result in making one financially reliant on the other.
Unlike spouses or civil union partners, cohabiting partners, including registered domestic partners, have no entitlement to alimony or equitable division of marital property. However, one partner may pledge to provide payment or other compensation to the other. So, what are your options if you’re looking to receive Palimony (or if you’re hoping to avoid paying it)?

If you live in New Jersey and are not married or in a civil union but your ‘spouse’ has promised you financial assistance or property sharing, you may have a valid New Jersey “palimony” claim if:

• You and your partner signed a formal cohabitation or domestic partnership agreement following independent legal counsel; or
• You and your partner had a similar arrangement that was not in writing before January 18, 2010.

This field of law is complicated and has changed often. Whether or whether you have a formal agreement, you should contact an experienced palimony and family law attorney to explain and clarify your position.


Alimony vs Palimony in NJ

“Palimony” is not a legal word like “alimony” or “spousal support” which both imply the same thing. The laws governing fair property division and alimony only apply to couples who are terminating a lawful marriage or civil union. However, one spouse may willingly give up property rights or assure future financial assistance to the other, which is known as palimony. Palimony is a term used to describe a contractual obligation to give financial assistance comparable to alimony.

No Claim without a Cohabitation Agreement

For many years, New Jersey law did not need a written agreement to establish an intimate partner's commitment to compensate financially. However, on January 18, 2010, a modification to the New Jersey “statute of frauds” took effect. Palimony claims since that date must be based on a formal agreement made following independent legal consultations. The New Jersey Supreme Court emphasized in Maeker v. Ross (2014) that the statutory amendment requirements are not retroactive. So if you have an oral agreement that precedes the amendment, you may be able to establish it in court.

Palimony and cohabitation agreements are a continuously developing within the courts as more and more couples choose alternatives to marriage. Call our office at (800) 709-1131 to discuss your NJ Palimony case.

No Cost Case Evaluation

If you're looking to discuss your Palimony case, contact us today for a free case evaluation with one of our Family Law attorneys.

New Jersey Family Courts we appear in regularly:

Bergen County 
Justice Center, Room 119
10 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
(201) 527-2300


Essex County 
Family Division Dissolution Unit
Wilentz Justice Complex, Room 113
212 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 693-6710


Family Division Non-Dissolution Unit
Wilentz Justice Complex, Room 1365
212 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07012
(973) 693-5560 or (973) 693-5520


Hudson County
Family Intake Team
Administration Bldg., Room 203
595 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 795-6777


Hunterdon County 
Family Case Management Office
Hunterdon County Justice Center
65 Park Avenue
Flemington, NJ 08822
(908) 237-5920


Mercer County
Family Case Management Office
175 S. Broad St., 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 8068
Trenton, NJ 08650-0068
(609) 571-4200


Middlesex County
Family Part Intake Reception Team
Family Courthouse
120 New St., Room 111
P.O. Box 2691
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2691
(732) 519-3242

Monmouth County
Family Part, Courthouse
71 Monument Park
P.O. Box 1252
Freehold, NJ 07728-1252
(732) 677-4050


Morris County
Morris County Family Division
Morris County Courthouse Family Intake
Washington and Court Streets
P.O. Box 910
Morristown, NJ 07963
(973) 656-4000


Somerset County
Family Case Management Office
Courthouse, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 3000
Somerville, NJ 08876-1262
(908) 231-7600


Sussex County
Sussex County Family Division
Sussex County Judicial Center
43-47 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
(973) 579-0630


Union County
Dissolution Assignment Office
New Annex Bldg.; Courthouse
2 Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07207
(908) 659-3314


Warren County
Family Division Dissolution Unit
413 Second St.;
P.O. Box 900
Belvidere, NJ 07823-1500
(908) 475-6150

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Branchburg, NJ
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