Princeton partner Lisa Presser and Florham Park associate Megan Cannella wrote an article for the New Jersey Law Journal titled, “You May Want to Escape NJ’s Doctrine of Necessaries.” Lisa and Megan discuss New Jersey’s common law “doctrine of necessaries,” which creates liability for the debts of a spouse under certain circumstances, known as “necessaries.”
A “necessary” is considered any good or service that benefits one or both spouses, such as clothing and the cost of hospital and medical care. Lisa and Megan cover the history and modernization of the doctrine, requirements for collection under the doctrine and the doctrine as it relates to last illness expenses.
Lisa and Megan also note that Florida has abolished its doctrine of necessaries, where many New Jersey “snowbirds” residents retire. While the doctrine of necessaries may not be motivation enough on its own, it may serve as an additional factor to consider when contemplating a change in domicile.