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 and same-sex households are a common part of New Jersey society’s conversation. The state has laws specifically for such non-traditional relationships. Being that the law makes room for those relationships, it also might not be surprising that the recent census shows a significant increase in the amount of North New Jersey households that are headed by same-sex couples.
According to reports, the 2010 census shows a drastic change in the number of households headed by same-sex couples in the suburbs of North Jersey compared to 10 years ago.
- Compared to 2000, the number has gone up by about 30 percent.
- In all of New Jersey, the census shows that about one in 133 households are headed by same-sex partners.
- At least 900 same-sex couples in North Jersey have children living with them.
Whether the couples reported in the study entered into civil unions is undisclosed. In New Jersey, same-sex couples are provided the opportunity to earn the rights of married couples in the state by being joined in a civil union.
Some couples, however, choose not to enter into a civil union. If those couples live together, there can still be very valid reasons to seek legal help in order to protect each person’s best interest should the partnership end. Those reasons include property division, debt division, child custody and more.
The make-up of a family is certainly changing in New Jersey and throughout the country. It can take the legal system time to catch up to the norms and wants of its society. We are definitely seeing that right now with regards to civil unions and same-sex marriage.
Northjersey.com: “North Jersey sees 30% growth in same-sex couples,” Harvy Lipman and Dave Sheingold, Aug. 14, 2011