Until recently, New Jersey currently did not permit same sex marriage, although the state allowed civil unions, offering some of the protections and benefits of marriage under a different name. A recent court case changed the future for same sex couples who want to marry in NJ.
A case called Garden State Equality v. Paula Dow was decided and now allows same sex couples to marry in New Jersey. On September 23, the New Jersey Superior Court ruled that same sex marriage must be allowed in the state, beginning on October 21. At first the state of New Jersey was appealing the ruling and had asked the appeals court for a stay on the date for marriages to begin. Finally the governor decided to stop pursuing the appeal and the first same sex marriages took place in the state on October 21, making New Jersey the 14th state in the union to allow same sex marriage.
The ruling is even more important now that the federal government is required to provide federal benefits to same sex wedded couples. Now that New Jersey couples are permitted to marry, they are eligible for things like Social Security benefits and government family health care, which only apply to married couples (gay or straight, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act) and not to couples in equivalent unions, like civil unions.
With the new ruling, New Jersey same sex couples can marry and follow exactly the same procedures for marriage and divorce as heterosexual couples.
DeTorres & DeGeorge is ready to represent you in your family law case, whether it involves a marriage, a civil union, or a non-formalized relationship.