Same-sex marriage has been legal in New Jersey since the later part of 2013. As with other couples, though, marriage may not last forever. If you married after the legalization of same-sex marriage, but now you wish to divorce, you may discover that this is yet another challenge you will have. The divorce laws are not for same-sex couples. They do not take into consideration the unique aspects of these relationships, which means you may face some issues, especially with property division.
Forbes explains the main reason why same-sex couples have trouble with property division during a divorce is directly related to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Prior to this, you could not legally marry. Therefore, prior to the date you legally married, you were single and separate.
The trouble is that until your legal marriage took place, any property you bought or titled in your name alone belongs to only you. Marital property is only that property which you purchased during the marriage. Even if you comingled your finances, there is still a chance the court could rule property as nonmarital if only one of you bought it or had it in your name only.
The real beginning
For many same-sex couples, their marriage began long before they had a marriage certificate. Since you could not marry, all you could do was live as a married couple. Courts have a difficult time trying to assess the real beginning of a relationship to help with fairness in property division. It adds another level of difficulty to the whole divorce process that the current laws do not address.