Today in a published trial court case, the NJ Superior Court addressed an issue dealing with a difference in the law regarding civil union dissolutions. After Lewis v. Harris directed the state to create an equivalent to marriage for same-sex couples, the legislature created the civil union statute and mandated that civil unions be equivalent to marriage. While that statute’s effective date was pending, the state also passed the irreconcilable differences law, which allowed married couples to divorce without proving fault. Given the timing, irreconcilable difference was not included as an equivalent cause of action to dissolve a civil union — likely as an oversight. All other causes of action for divorce/dissolution were replicated (adultery was not identically replicated since adultery is an extramarital sexual relationship).
In Groh v. Groh, the court said that “under the most reasonable interpretation of existing statutory law, the family court has authority to dissolve a civil union based upon on the no-fault ground of irreconcilable differences.”