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Legally Protecting The Domestic Partnership

Author : Stephen Browndorf

The Domestic Partnership in New Jersey is a special type of legal arrangement between two people who may be of the opposite or same sex and are at least 62 years old or older. The Domestic Partnership Act (DPA) passed on January 12, 2004 made it possible for partners to be made exempt from the Inheritance Tax just like the married couples. The family law attorney in Northfield, NJ assists hundreds of people each year file their Affidavit of Domestic Partnership with the local Registrar of Vital Statistics.

The domestic partnership has a lot of similarities to a traditional marriage, but it is not a federally recognized arrangement. Each state establishes its own rules and that is what the 2004 New Jersey law does. This law was amended by the Civil Union Act on February 19, 2007.

Creating a Right to the Rights

These laws are meant to grant couples that are not married, but are living together like a couple, many of the same rights a married man and woman would get by law. For example, the DPA makes it possible for one partner to make important healthcare decisions about the other partner.

One of the first questions the attorney practicing family law in Northfield, NJ will ask when you want to create a Domestic Partnership is whether both partners are over 62 years old. In addition, if you previously lived in a different state prior to living in New Jersey, and that prior state legally recognized a Domestic Partnership, then New Jersey will also grant rights and obligations to you as partners.

Partners may ask for legal status as Domestic Partners if:

*The partners live in the same residence
*The partners are responsible for each other's welfare
*A New Jersey Domestic Partnership, civil union or marriage does not exist with anyone else
*A domestic partner has not ended a partnership within the last 6 months (unless it was due to the death of a partner)
*The partners are not related to each other by blood or law
*They agree to be responsible for each other's living expenses
*They agree to share a caring committed relationship

Adding a Contract

The attorney specializing in family law in Northfield, NJ can perform several valuable services. When the affidavit is filed there is additional documentation to be collect that proves your living arrangement is as you describe. The attorney can advise you as to the proper documents to gather together.

Just as important is deciding if there needs to be a contract between the partners detailing additional responsibilities the partners agree to accept. For example, how will the couple split their property is the partnership ends? Is there a need for a palimony agreement?

Once the Domestic Partnership is created, the partners have certain rights. They may decide medical care for each other, claim one as a dependent on a state tax return, avoid paying estate or gift taxes, claim retirement benefits, and inherit an estate.

If you are considering forming a formal Domestic Partnership the first step should be to visit a an attorney who is an expert in family law in Northfield, NJ. There are many points to consider, and the attorney will help you insure that all legal important issues are covered.

Author's Resource Box

Stephen A. Browndorf Attorney At Law has been offering family law services to Northfield, NJ and surrounding areas including Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean, Burlington, Camden and Burlington counties. For more details on Family Law, Northfield, NJ and Divorce Attorney, Northfield, NJ please visit our website

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Tags:   Family Law, Northfield, NJ, Divorce Attorney, Northfield, NJ

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Submitted : 2011-06-20    Word Count : 527    Times Viewed: 420