NJ Senate Approves Palimony in Writing Legislation

Earlier this month, the state Senate approved, by a vote of 21-14, bipartisan-sponsored legislation that would require all palimony agreements to be in writing and signed in order to be enforceable. The bill, s-2091, amends N.J.S.A. 25:1-5, which already requires that prenuptial agreements be put into writing.

The bill is intended to overturn recent “palimony” decisions by the appellate courts of this state, including Devaney v. L’Esperance, 195 N.J. 247 (2008), In re Estate of Roccamonte, 174 N.J. 381 (2002) and Kozlowski v. Kozlowski, 80 N.J. 378 (1979), all of which had held that a promise of lifetime support by one cohabitant to another in a marital-like relationship would be enforced, if one of the partners was induced to cohabit by the promise. The court held that the right to such support is found in contract principles and that the contract may be either express or implied.

The leading opponents, Sen. Nia Gill, D-Essex, and Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, said the measure would be unfair to older women who stay in non-marital relationships for long periods of time with the understanding that they will be taken care of financially once the relationships end. The bill now goes to the Assembly.

I’ve been following the progress of the bill, and previously blogged about the bill here.