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Tag Archives: civil unions

Pending Us Supreme Court Cases May Have Consequences For Nj Civil Unions

This June, decisions are expected in two landmark cases which will decide the fate of what is known as the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s ban on gay marriage. The first case, United States v. Windsor, No. 12-3077, will decide the fate of the Defense of Marriage Act. That Act, in sum, allows the federal government to refuse to recognize the legal status of same sex relationships across the country for purposes such as estate and inheritance laws, federal tax law, laws surrounding health insurance, social security, retirement accounts, and much more. If the Court overturns the Act, those individuals in Civil Unions in New Jersey may be permitted a host of new federal rights, such as the ability to file a joint tax return and acquire and inherit property under more favorable tax laws. There are, approximately, more than 1,000 federal laws and programs that benefit those who are married but do not apply to those in legally recognized same sex relationships in various states.

Further, if and when it is necessary to dissolve the Civil Union, one may be able to take advantage of favorable means to divide pension and retirement accounts for tax purposes, such as what is known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. There would also be many other advantages to the divorcing same sex couple that are currently afforded to those dissolving a marriage. The full import of the Court’s decision cannot be ascertained until June.

The Court’s decision in another case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, 12-144, may have even broader implications. This case, among other things, challenges the constitutionality of California’s voter’s referendum which invalidated a California Supreme Court decision holding that same sex couples in that state were entitled to marry. Depending on the scope of the decision, there could be far-reaching implications for New Jersey’s Civil Union law and other laws across the country that fall short of marriage. Stay tuned…

Obamas Support Of Gay Marriage Has Little Impact In New Jersey

While the media and public made a huge deal that President Obama recently announced his support for same-sex marriage, a study in New Jersey suggests that the state’s voters won’t change the way they vote based on the president’s opinion. New Jersey’s own leader Governor Christie certainly has his own strong opinions on the same-sex… Continue Reading

Is Civil Unions Work Reason Enough To Stop Same Sex Marriage

In a previous family law post, we shared how the matter of same-sex marriage in New Jersey was going to become part of the legislative conversation again this year. Civil unions are currently legal for same-sex couples in the state, but some lawmakers and equal rights advocates are pushing for further freedoms. A bill went… Continue Reading

A Win For Same Sex Civil Union Advocates Occurs In New Jersey

New Jersey is somewhat ahead of the game compared to some other states with regards to providing same-sex couples’ rights. We may not have legalized same-sex marriage in the state, but civil unions are legal and have provided many couples the opportunity to formalize their relationships in some manner. One same-sex couple chose to enter… Continue Reading

Vote Regarding Same Sex Marriage Returns To New Jersey

Just because a legislative proposal is rejected once doesn’t mean that lawmakers who support its cause won’t bring up the fight again. This is the case for same-sex marriage in New Jersey. A bill to legalize same-sex marriage was defeated in 2009, but a similar proposal will be on the table again this year. According… Continue Reading

Wrongful Death Case Is Fight For Same Sex Civil Union Laws

Imagine you are enjoying a night out with your spouse or partner, and the unthinkable happens. There’s a terrible accident, and, through no fault of your own, you are injured. Your loved one is killed. While legal action can’t bring your loved one back, perhaps you can at least get help with expenses as a… Continue Reading

Decade Meant Growth In Number Of Same Sex New Jersey Households

Census reports are gathered in order to reflect demographic trends. The 2010 census added a new component due to the changed nature of society’s families. It tried to measure the amount of same-sex partners living together who had related children with them in the home. It is no surprise that the issues of same-sex couples… Continue Reading

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