Written Palimony Agreements
A palimony agreement is an agreement between two non-married parties living in a marriage-like relationship wherein promises are made regarding the financial support ordivision of assets between the parties. Historically, under Kozlowski v. Kozlowski, 80 N.J. 378 (1979), an oral or written promise of lifetime support by one party to another in a marriage-like relationship was enforceable, if one of the parties was induced to cohabit by said promise.
In 2010, the New Jersey legislature enacted an amendment to the Statute of Frauds which required palimony agreements to be in writing and signed by the individuals making the promise, in order for the agreement to be valid.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey held, in Maeker v. Ross, 2014 N.J. LEXIS 910 (N.J. Sept. 25, 2014), that the 2010 amendment to the Statute of Frauds did not apply to palimony agreements entered into prior to the enactment of the amendment. The Court reasoned that individuals entering into palimony agreements prior to the 2010 amendment were entitled to rely upon the law as it was when they entered into their agreements. Thus, oral palimony agreements entered into before the 2010 amendment are not automatically invalidated by the amendment.
Going forward, after Maeker, any promises for support made after 2010 must be in writing.
If you have questions about palimony agreements, 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.