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NJ Will Recognize Out of State Same-Sex Marriages

NJ Will Recognize Out of State Same-Sex Marriages

In the wake of the NJ Superior Court decision Garden State Equality v. Dow and the legal drama that ensued leading to New Jersey’s recognition of same-sex marriage, many gay and lesbian couples have new questions regarding the status of same-sex marriage in this state, including the validity of out of state same-sex marriages. To assuage questions such as this, the NJ Department of Health and Human Services has released a statement to address the this specific issue. In its statement, released earlier this month, the Department of Health confirmed that NJ will recognize and honor the validity of same-sex marriages that were performed and validated in other states that previously recognized same-sex marriages. Therefore, for gay and lesbian couples who may be wondering if they will be required to get re-married in NJ in order for the state to officially recognize their marriages, the question has been answered. Same-sex couples who were legally married in other states do not have to re-marry in New Jersey for the state to recognize their legal union. On the other hand, LGBT couples who were legally joined in a civil union will have to legally “re-marry” in NJ for their marriage to be recognized by the Garden State and federal government to receive the marriage benefits from each. Unfortunately for couples joined in a NJ civil union, the Garden State Equality v. Dow decision did not provide for the automatic conversion of civil unions into marriages. As the weeks and months wane on following New Jersey’s recognition of same-sex marriages, the legislature and legal communities will continued to refine and clarify how the laws of the state will evolve and adapt to include same-sex marriage recognition. As more and more same-sex couples apply for marriage licenses in the state, there is no doubt that additional questions will surface that need to be clarified and resolved as New Jersey embraces marriage equality. For more information about same-sex civil union, same-sex relationship dissolution, divorce, adoption, child custody, alimony or other Family Law matters in New Jersey visit NJCivilUnionLaw.com and HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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