Breaking up is hard to do

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LEGALANALYSIS:

They say that breaking up is hard to do. Now, I know, I know… that it’s true… – Neil Sedaka

Not too long ago, breaking up for same-sex couples living in New Jersey was a process that generally proceeded outside a court of law. Unless a couple had children or had substantial property to be divided, two partners could go their separate ways without a formal legal proceeding.

With the passage of the Domestic Partnership Act in 2004, New Jersey’s same-sex couples (and opposite-sex couples over the age of 62) were finally able to enter into a legally recognized relationship that provided a limited set of rights and responsibilities. Certainly, this was an improvement over no recognition, but for the first time in New Jersey, the law imposed a formal legal process for ending the domestic partnership.