Making it Easier for Non-Resident Same Sex Couples to Divorce in NJ
A new amendment to the New Jersey Court Rule 5:7-1 has eased the roadblock that many non-New Jersey residents face when seeking to terminate a domestic partnership or a civil union that was solemnized in New Jersey.
Specifically, now under the Rules of Court, a non-resident of New Jersey can file for a termination of a domestic partnership or civil union in circumstances where the parties do not have a forum of their own.
Rule 5:7-1. Venue Except as otherwise provided by law, venue in actions for divorce, dissolution of civil union or termination of domestic partnership, nullity and separate maintenance shall be laid in the county in which plaintiff was domiciled when the cause of action arose, or if plaintiff was not then domiciled in this State, then in the county in which defendant was domiciled when the cause of action arose; or if neither party was domiciled in this State when the cause of action arose, then in the county in which the plaintiff is domiciled when the action is commenced, or if plaintiff is not domiciled in this State, then in the county where defendant is domiciled when service of process is made. For purposes of this rule, in actions brought under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(c), the cause of action shall be deemed to have arisen three months after the last act of cruelty complained of in the Complaint. For purposes of this rule, in actions brought under N.J.S.A. 26:8A-10 for termination of a domestic partnership in which both parties are non-residents and without a forum available to dissolve the domestic partnership, venue shall be laid in the county in which the Certificate of Domestic Partnership is filed. For purposes of this rule, for the dissolution of a civil union created in New Jersey in which both parties are now non-residents and without a forum available to dissolve the civil union, venue shall be laid in the county in which the civil union was solemnized. (emphasis added).
The far-reaching implications of this amendment are yet to materialize, however, it is anticipated that it would generate an influx of same-sex couples to register in the state, drive up state revenues, and provide a forum for those who have been historically denied of same in their home state.
As you can see, venue for termination of a domestic partnership or civil union for non-New Jersey residents is a new and developing area of the law. For more information regarding termination of a domestic partnership or civil union contact Lyons & Associates. Our divorce lawyers in New Jersey represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us online, or call our offices at 908-575-9777.
Written by: Marissa DelMauro, Esq.