Palimony Promises in New Jersey must be in writing: Are there any exceptions?

By Fredrick P. Niemann, a New Jersey Probate Lawyer
Palimony is financial support provided from one unmarried person to another in exchange for the other taking care of them. Palimony is used in a relationship context, usually involving long-term relationships, where a couple lives together yet does not get married. In 2010, the New Jersey Courts held that the statute of frauds applies to palimony cases, meaning that all promises of palimony must be in writing or they will not be honored. Prior to 2010, the courts had allowed palimony clauses to be oral, meaning verbal agreements, leading to many cases in which an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend was able to recover palimony payments after the couple had broken up. Now that the Courts have applied the statute of frauds to palimony, a ex-partner from a non-marital relationship may no longer recover palimony from their ex if the arrangement is not written down. This means that if your ex-partner orally promised to pay you a sum of money every month in exchange for caring for them, the Courts will not honor this promise.

Fortunately, New Jersey Courts still allow other claims by a former partner from a non-marital relationship. Depending on the specifics of your case, other theories may allow you to recover the payments you were promised from your ex-partner. Theories such as breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; constructive trust; partition; unjust enrichment; fraud-deceit-misrepresentation; promissory estoppel; interference with contractual/prospective economic advantage; conversion; and theft, as well as other claims may be available to you.

If you were promised palimony or support by an ex-partner from a non-marital relationship, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. immediately to discuss the specifics of your case. Even if the promise was not written down, you may have alternative methods of recovery. Mr. Niemann can be contacted toll free at 855-376-5291 or emailed at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com/. He looks forward to speaking to you.

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