New Jersey law recognizes that many couples choose to remain unmarried for a variety of reasons despite being involved in long term, committed relationships. As part of the considerations given to unmarried couples in New Jersey, palimony agreements entitle individuals to similar financial support as ex spouses enjoy through alimony agreements. In fact, palimony is a cross between the words “alimony” and “pal”. While palimony is less common than alimony, it is equally enforceable under the correct circumstances.
The palimony agreement attorneys of Jacobs Berger take pride in protecting the legal rights of our unmarried clients across Morris County communities including Morristown, Madison, Denville, Randolph, East Hanover, Dover, Florham Park, and across Northern New Jersey. Our firm believes in offering dynamic and personalized legal solutions that are tailor-made to the individual needs and concerns of our clients. We strive to mitigate the stresses of legal disputes while using any means at our disposal to protect your legal rights.
Call our office today for a confidential and comprehensive case assessment regarding your palimony agreement, any related disputes, and to learn more about how we can best serve your needs.
Palimony Lawyers Define Palimony Agreements
Palimony agreements are similar, but more limited than other agreements for unmarried couples in New Jersey. While cohabitation agreements may cover a wide array of topics including powers of attorney, life insurance, medical decision making and more, palimony agreements are focused purely on financial support for one party or the other in the case that the relationship ends. Palimony agreements are primarily intended as a platform for unmarried couples to make a written promise of financial support after a separation.
While palimony agreements are generally entered into by a couple who does not intend to marry, they are still legally enforceable if the couple becomes married. This can be relevant as New Jersey equitable distribution statutes generally hold marital assets to be anything acquired during a marriage. If you or your spouse acquired an asset previous to the marriage but which was addressed in a palimony agreement, you may be entitled to additional financial consideration dependent on the terms of your agreement.
Palimony Agreement Attorneys Identify Eligible Unmarried Couples
Unlike traditional alimony for divorcing couples, palimony is not a presumed right for unmarried couples who are separating. Only couples who have a written palimony agreement are eligible for palimony in the case of a separation. Our Madison palimony agreement attorneys must show all of the following in order for you to be eligible for palimony:
- You and your partner have been living together for a reasonable amount of time (this is a vague definition, and will be considered on a case by case basis)
- You and your partner have an existing palimony agreement that entitles you to financial support
- The agreement was entered into by both parties without coercion and when both parties were of sound mind
- Each party must have had independent legal counsel before signing the palimony agreement
If you are in a relationship where you depend on your partner for financial support, considering a written palimony agreement might be a great option. The terms and conditions of palimony agreements can be very flexible, and a qualified attorney will be able to draft an agreement that suits you and your partner’s unique circumstances.
Unmarried Couples’ Lawyers Discuss Verbal Palimony Agreements
New Jersey palimony statutes were overhauled in 2010 as per the items discussed in the section above. Before the 2010 paradigm shift, it was common for unmarried couples to seek and be awarded palimony considerations with no written palimony agreements. Because of the legal precedence of palimony claims being granted from verbal agreements, some New Jersey decisions have sided with plaintiffs suing for palimony when the verbal agreements took place prior to 2010.
There are several important takeaways to remember when it comes to verbal agreements and palimony:
- Any palimony agreements entered into after 2010 must adhere to the standards our Randolph unmarried couples’ lawyers have identified above. This must include an explicit written agreement
- No verbal agreement for palimony will be considered valid if it took place after 2010
- 2010 was a long time ago in legal terms. While court decisions may have allowed for verbal agreements prior to 2010 to stand up, the legal standing of claimants weakens as time passes
- It is not legal to claim palimony on the grounds that your partner promised to marry you and then did not marry you (this is an antiquated NJ statute that has long since been outlawed)
Contact our Palimony Agreement Attorneys Today
At Jacobs Berger, our palimony and unmarried couples’ rights attorneys reject the cookie cutter legal approach of larger firms. We understand that no two relationships are alike, and therefore no two palimony agreements will be alike. For this and many other reasons, our firm is built on the concept of providing specific legal plans for each one of our clients from Morris County towns such as Denville, Randolph, Madison, Morristown, Morris Township, Dover, East Hanover, Rockaway, and all of Northern New Jersey.
If you or a loved one has any questions regarding palimony agreements, please contact us online or call our Morristown offices by dialing (973) 710-4366 today for a comprehensive and confidential case assessment.