As of October 21, 2013, same-sex couples have the right to marry in New Jersey. The State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that same-sex couples must have the same right to marriage as straight couples.
- How Do I Register My Domestic Partnership in New Jersey?
- At What Point Is My Domestic Partnership Registered with the State of New Jersey?
- What Are the Requirements for Registering a Domestic Partnership in New Jersey?
- What If I Don’t Live in New Jersey?
- Is My Domestic Partnership Recognized in Other States?
- What Is Consanguinity?
- How Do I Show Proof of My Registered Domestic Partnership?
- How Do I End My Domestic Partnership?
- Does a Female Have to Register Under Her Maiden Name?
- Do I Need a New Jersey Lawyer to Register My Domestic Partnership?
If you wish to become registered domestic partners in New Jersey, you must obtain an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership. The affidavit must be completed and signed by both applicants at the same time, and in the presence of a notary. Both applicants must appear together to file with a Local Registrar of Vital Statistics and pay the required fee.
Domestic partnerships are not considered registered until the affidavit has been filed with the Local Registrar’s Office and the Certificate of Domestic Partnership has been issued.
Couples who wish to register as domestic partners must be same-sex couples where both people are 18 years old or older, or opposite-sex couples who are both 62 years of age or older. Couples must meet the following requirements:
- Share a common residence in New Jersey, or any other jurisdictions provided that at least one of the applicants is a member of a New Jersey state-administered retirement system.
- Both persons are jointly responsible for each other’s common welfare as evienced by joint financial arrangement or joint ownership or real or personal property.
- Both persons are to be jointly responsible for each other’s basic living expenses during the domestic partnership.
- Neither applicant is in a marriage recognized by New Jersey law or a member of another domestic partnership.
- Neither person is related to the other by blood or affinity up to and including the fourth degree of consanguinity (blood relative – see below).
- Both persons have chosen to share each other’s lives in a committed relationship of mutual caring.
- Neither applicant has terminated another domestic partnership within the last 180 days (this prohibition does not apply when the previous partnership ended due to the death of one of the partners).
If the residence is outside the State of New Jersey, at least one of the applicants must provide proof of membership in a New Jersey state-administered retirement system by providing one of the following documents issued by the Division of Pensions and Benefits:
- A Personal Benefits Statement from the current or previous year
- A 1099R from the current or previous year
- A Certificate of Pension Membership
Many states do not currently recognize domestic partnerships that have been registered in New Jersey, or may not have determined yet if they will recognize the partnership. You should contact the state in question to obtain more accurate information.
Consanguinity is generally used to refer to someone related by blood. People who are first cousins or more distantly related than that meet the requirement of not being related to the fourth degree of consanguinity. For example, you could register as domestic partners with your second cousin but not with a close family member such as a sibling, parent, aunt, or uncle.
To show proof of a Registered Domestic Partnership you must obtain a certified copy of the Certificate of Domestic Partnership. You can get a copy at the Local Registrar if Vital Statistics where the Partnership was registered, or at the State Registrar’s Office of Vital Statistics.
To terminate a Registered Domestic Partnership one partner must file a request for termination with the appropriate Superior Court of the State of New Jersey.
No. Unlike marriage, there is no requirement that the female register under her maiden name for a domestic partnership. She may choose to register under her maiden name or her current legal name.
While you do not need a lawyer to fill out the initial domestic partnership paperwork, you and your partner should consider consulting a good New Jersey family lawyer . A lawyer will be able to assist you both with estate planning, to ensure that you are both taken care of in the event of illness of death.