Entries Tagged as 'irreconcilable differences'

Civil Union Dissolution and Irreconcilable Difference

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.”

New York Finally Embraces Irreconcilable Differences

New York state was the last state in the United States not to offer its citizens a no fault cause of action for divorce.  In August 2010, Governor David Paterson signed into law a bill which adds irreconcilable differences as a cause of action.  Property division, alimony, parenting and child support will need to be resolved before one party can swear under oath that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for 6 months.

NJ Legislative Update

The two bills affecting family law I’ve previously reported on in this blog have been on the move.  First, the Irreconcilable Differences bill (S-1467) has now passed the Assembly by a 61-15-4 margin.  Having previously been passed by the Senate, the bill awaits Governor Corzine’s signature or veto.  The Governor has not stated an opinion on the bill, but the bill did pass both houses of the legislature by veto-proof margins.  The Governor has 45 days to sign or veto the bill, otherwise it would automatically pass.

The other item is the Civil Unions bill (A-3767).  After some rancorous debate (with apparently no one in support of the bill as written) and a few amendments, the Assembly Judiciary Committee passed the bill 4-2.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the bill soon followed by both houses.