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I need a lawyer to help with a case that concerns the division of property after 25 years of two persons living together.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

NJ -I know the law in NJ changed in 2010, But the the living together started way before- around 2004. I am basing this on the case of 'Maeker v. Ross, 430 N.J. Super, 79 (App. Div. 2013)

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not yet. He was locked out of his home- can testify his belongings are missing ( not just clothes and stuff but antiques worth a lot of money) by pictures

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes. ever since he moved in with this woman he has given her his entire paycheck- he believed that this was a forever relationship so he trusted her with his paychecks

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
11/20/2017
Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 5,353
Experience: Over 30 years of experience
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Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

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Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I am working on your answer now. Please bear with me it may take several minutes.

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Lawyer: Gerald, Esq, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

I am sorry that you are having these difficulties.

NJ does not recognize common law marriage. The more recent statutory changes pertaining to written cohabitation agreements affect relationships going forward from 2010. Laws are rarely retroactively applied.

As such yo have an oral agreement as to how the relationship would work. This oral agreement - if proven - can affect things like support payments (called Palimony and similar to Alimony). This would be an issue as to whether or not one party or the other is entitled to support.

Your question relates to property distribution. There are two types of property. Property that you purchased together or were mutual gifts. These are joint property and would be distributed by the court in an "equitable" fashion. This does not necessarily mean 50/50. But rather the Court will look at who made the larger contribution to the purchase of the property BUT also look at other than monetary contributions made by the parties. In many instances it is close to a 50/50 split.

The second type of property is called separate property. Property is separate if it was held by a party prior to cohabitation, was a gift to one party only, was an inheritance. In regard to cohabitation the court will also give deference to how property is titled or deeded.

Lastly, if property that belongs to one party is destroyed or sold, the other party will be ordered to make compensation to the destroyed, lost, or sold property. It is unlikely that law enforcement would be involved in this type of issue as they usually view it as a civil matter.

It would be helpful to you to consult a local attorney. This link can help with that:

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/family-law/new-jersey

Here is the case you referenced:

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nj-supreme-court/1678976.html

Even though you are not married the following article may help you understand how property is divided in NJ:

http://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-jersey-law/new-jersey-marital-property-laws.html

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response, PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or, if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you, and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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