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There was a time when living together in a long-term relationship and acting as husband and wife was considered under the law to be equal to marriage. That was called common law marriage and it was abolished by statute in New Jersey in 1939.
Since common law marriage ended, there are no longer any laws with guidelines for determining whether support should be awarded from one unmarried partner to another when their long-term relationship ends.
This Act gives homosexual partners and senior, heterosexual, unmarried couples various rights. To receive these benefits, the couple must file an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership with the local registrar. In order to qualify for registration, the couple must reside together, share living expenses, and share a bank account or some other property.
In order for permanent alimony to be awarded in New Jersey, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and one spouse must have become economically dependent on the other. This type of alimony allows the obligee to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed for the duration of the obligor's lifetime (unless the obligee remarries).
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