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Palimony and Statute of Frauds

On September 25, 2014, in Maeker v. Ross, 2014 N.J. LEXIS 910 (N.J. 2014), the Supreme Court held that the Legislature in passing the 2010 Amendment to the Statue of Frauds,N.J.S.A. 25:1-5(h), requiring oral contracts to be in writing, did not intend to render oral palimony agreements that predated the Amendment unenforceable.

The Supreme Court highlighted that in Kozlowski v. Kozlowski, 80 N.J., 378 (1979) it held that an oral palimony agreement against a person who promised to provide future support to a partner with whom he shared a marital-type relationship with was enforceable. In determining that the 2010 Amendment to the Statute of Frauds was not intended to be retroactively applied the Court reasoned that: 1) an indeterminate number of unmarried couple may have entered into palimony agreements before the date of the 2010 Amendment and they have a right to rely on the law that recognized their personal contracts; 2) that the 2010 Amendment does not state that it is to be retroactively applied; and 3) that the Legislature is well aware that the courts will not retroactively apply a new provision of the Statute of Frauds to void previously formed lawful oral contracts in the absence of a clear legislative expression to the contrary.

If you have questions about palimony, contact the law firm of Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn & Roemersma to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.

THE FOREGOING IS INTENDED TO BE A GENERAL DISCUSSION OF THE LAW AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC QUESTION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY.


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