I have written a great deal on the changing state of New Jersey palimony law, both on this blog and in outside publications. In the past few weeks, there have been two additional major occurrences that will help decide the final outcome of New Jersey palimony law.
The first is that, as expected, the Maeker v. Ross matter has been granted Certification before the Supreme Court of New Jersey. This will help resolve, once and for all, whether the palimony statute should be applied retroactively or prospectively. The appellate court decided that retroactive application was suitable under the Statute of Fraud Amendments. Now it is time for the state’s Supreme Court to weigh in.
Another, seemingly out of left field case, is the recent published Superior Court decision in Joiner-Orman v. Orman. The Judge in that case determined that a Statute of Frauds exception may exist for “partial performance.”
It would appear, given these latest developments, that palimony law, which was significantly modified for the first time in decades following the 2010 Amendments, continues to be a major wildcard in New Jersey family law. And rumors of the death of palimony in New Jersey appear to be greatly exaggerated.
As a practical matter for family law attorneys, it is quite difficult to counsel clients on how to proceed and whether or not they have a case. There was a lot of backlash to the palimony amendments, but these cases may take the teeth out of the amendments absent further modifications by the legislature.
To learn more about the Orman, case, Charles Toutant of the New Jersey Law Journal wrote a very good article about the case in today’s law journal. (And I’m not just praising the article because I was quoted in the piece).
As for now, it’s a waiting game to see what the final incarnation of New Jersey palimony law will be.
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