If i buy a house with someone is this considered a civil union? alimony states that it will stop for a marriage or civil union.

Asked over 3 years ago - Ridgewood, NJ

I would like to buy a house with my boyfriend but concerned this could be recognized
as a civil union, my divorce decree states alimony can end with marriage or civil union.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Mary Tom

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . You need to review the terms of your Judgment of Divorce/Property Settlement Agreement with an attorney. Cohabitation may be sufficient to terminate alimony.

    Good luck.

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  2. Ronald Glenn Lieberman


    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . That event is not even close to a civil union, so don't worry. By the way, a civil union is between same sex partners or people over the age of 62.

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  3. David Perry Davis

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . No - that doesn't constitute a "civil union". You have to specifically file for one, and they're only available for older people or same-sex couples.

    But that doesn't sound like the end of the question under your facts. Cohabitation CAN be sufficient to terminate or adjust alimony. If you have a specific provision terminating alimony on cohabitation, it's enforceable. If it's not addressed, the court will apply Gayet v. Gayet (google it) and the payor is probably (not always, but probably) entitled to a reduction of alimony.

    The above is said without seeing your case file and without my understanding the entirety of the facts of your... more
  4. Ezra N. Goldman

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Check with your divorce lawyer but "civil union" generally means marriage by a judge or a justice of the peace. As opposed to a religious union. But buying a house could mean you are an investor -- nothing to do with stopping alimony.

  5. Marakay Jessica Rogers

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . New Jersey law spells out the criteria for a civil union to be recognized by the state. Merely buying property together or/and cohabiting should not be sufficient to create this status. You should be able to find the information for civil union formation in your state on line; I believe in New Jersey you have to file for one just as you would file for a marriage license, as a civil union is intended to create a status similar to marriage. You can also call the county for information just as you would for finding out what is needed in order to get a marriage license in your county.

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