Oft-Jailed NJ Ex-spouse Shows Importance of Appropriate Alimony
May 21, 2014
May 21, 2014
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Cohabitating couples often face the same issues regarding the division of finances and property during the end of a relationship. A well-written palimony agreement may help prevent future disputes and save a couple time and money.

Items to include in a cohabitation agreement

Couples who cohabitate often accumulate a wide variety of property. It is often in a cohabitating couple’s best interest to develop a palimony agreement specifying how financial and property issues will be dealt with should the relationship end.

A palimony agreement should be tailored to the needs of each party and include information regarding:

  • Who owns which assets
  • Division of income and expenses
  • How bank accounts will be managed

Additionally, an agreement should include information regarding how property will be split in case the relationship ends. Finally, it is important to also include a desired process for resolving property division issues if a dispute does arise.

A well-written palimony agreement can save a couple the time and expense of a lawsuit. Without a written agreement, a palimony claim could be filed to resolve issues related to finances and property. An individual who wishes to file a palimony claim may have heard about recent changes to New Jersey’s palimony law and may be wondering exactly what they mean.

Palimony agreements must now be in writing in New Jersey

Previously, palimony agreements in New Jersey could be oral or written. However, according to changes to the law passed in 2010, a palimony agreement must now be in writing. Additionally, both individuals must receive legal counseling before entering into a valid palimony agreement. The agreement must also be signed by the person promising to provide support. The amendment only applies to future palimony agreements, and any past palimony agreements remain valid.

In a recent palimony case, a woman seeking palimony from a former co-habitant argued that because the oral palimony agreement was created before the amendment went into effect, the agreement was effective.

The court disagreed, reasoning that palimony agreements may only be enforced once the promise is broken. Since the promise to the woman was broken after the amendment took effect, the oral palimony agreement could not be enforced.

There are many factors that courts consider when analyzing a palimony claim, such as the reason that a relationship ends. Palimony agreements have also been found valid in cases involving the payments after the death of one of the individuals involved.

An individual with questions about filing a palimony claim could benefit by contacting a family law attorney. Although palimony claims are based on concepts of contract law, a palimony claim is typically filed in a family court. Therefore, an experienced family law attorney can protect important rights and act as a vigorous advocate to ensure financial stability and security is achieved.

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