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Dissolving a domestic partnership

Are you in a domestic partnership that you wish to exit? New Jersey is one of a handful of states that recognizes domestic partnerships for couples who wish to have some legal and financial protections, but who either can't marry or don't wish to marry. Domestic partnerships are commonly used by gay and lesbian couples and also by senior citizens who are in a relationship but don't want to marry. While a domestic partnership can provide a number of marriage-like rights and benefits, the laws surrounding a domestic partnership dissolution aren't so clear.

Domestic partnerships were created for a few primary reasons. One of the biggest is so partners could visit each other in the hospital and make important medical decisions on each other's behalf. Domestic partnerships also open the door for certain estate planning mechanisms that allow partners to pass on assets and benefits to each other after death. A domestic partnership or civil union may also allow for partners to share employer-based benefits with each other. These types of partnerships have been very successful for many New Jersey couples.

Where a domestic partnership can get complicated is during a dissolution. Of course, few couples envision dissolution of the relationship when they enter into the union. However, just like many marriages, civil unions and partnerships do sometimes end.

Domestic partner dissolutions are handled on a case-by-case basis. Each partnership has its own unique challenges and complexities. At Newsome O'Donnell, we will sit down with our clients and review their specific assets, liabilities, priorities and concerns. At that point, we can recommend and implement a strategy to dissolve the partnership. For more information in this regard, please visit out domestic partnerships page.

Source: Newsome O'Donnell Family Law, "Morristown Domestic Partnership Lawyers", October 15, 2014

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