Will the Statue Requiring Palimony Agreements to be in Writing be Applied Retroactively?
We have written extensively about the state of palimony law in New Jersey. In February of this year we discussed the Beverly Maeker v William S. Ross decision and whether an oral palimony agreement that predated N.J.S.A. 25:1-5(h) was enforceable. See Case Alert: Palimony Law Gets Clearer in New Jersey. The Appellate Division held that the statue precluded filing a suit for palimony. The decision was appealed. Last week the New Jersey State Supreme Court agreed to hear the Beverly Maeker v. William S. Ross case. This appeal seeks the court to answer the question,
“Does the 2010 amendment to the Statute of Frauds, N.J.S.A. 25:1-5(h), which requires a writing memorializing palimony agreements and independent advice of counsel prior to executing such an agreement, apply to bar enforcement of oral agreements that existed before adoption of the amendment?”
There has been a divergence of decisions among Appellate Division panels. In an unpublished decision in June of 2012 (which predated the published Maeker v. Ross decision) the Appellate Division, in Harrison vs Estate of Massaro, held that an Oral Palimony Agreement was enforceable. Contrast the unpublished decision in Harrison, with the decision in Sharon Cavalli v. Charles Arena. In Cavalli, the court found that When it Comes to Palimony “No Written Agreement Equals No Money”. Without question the Maeker decision should provide clarity to New Jersey’s Palimony law. Many may speculate as to the high court’s decision. One thing that is for sure, we will continue to keep you posted. Our firm has experienced palimony lawyers. If you have a question regarding palimony or any other type of support contact the family law lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele. Call today to schedule your confidential consultation (856) 546-1350.