What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

January 27, 2020

manage divorce process

Divorce is often a difficult time for both spouses; however, it can be the only feasible solution for spouses that have a variety of relationship troubles. Before filing for divorce in New Jersey, it is important to understand the grounds for divorce. Determining the grounds for divorce allows individuals to identify the actions that caused the divorce to occur.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

Most divorces are considered no-fault divorces. No-fault grounds for divorce implies that both spouses agree that their differences led to dissolution of their marriage. As the name suggests, no-fault grounds for divorce means that neither spouse is placing or accepting blame for the divorce. The mutual decision for divorce often leads to effortless divorce proceedings.

Separation falls under a no-fault divorce. Spouses considered to be separated if they live apart for at least 18 months. Irreconcilable divorces also fall under no-fault divorce. Unlike separation, an 18-month physical separation period is not required. Instead, both spouses must state that the relationship suffered for at least six months.

At-Fault Divorce

When there is fault in divorce, it implies that a spouse is to blame for the end of their marriage. In this type of divorce, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant fulfilled at least one fault. Fault divorces are often more difficult, and they do not necessarily have any benefits over a no-fault divorce. Common reasons for at-fault divorces include:

  • Adultery: This is when one a spouse is unfaithful during their marriage.
  • Abandonment: This occurs when an individual has willfully left their spouse and their home for at least 12 months.
  • Addiction: A spouse must have a consistent drug or alcohol abuse for at least 12 months.
  • Deviant Sexual Conduct: This is when a spouse performs non-consensual sexual acts to their spouse.
  • Extreme Cruelty: When a spouse physically or mentally abuses their spouse.
  • Imprisonment: When a spouse is sentenced to jail for at least 18 months.
  • Institutionalization: When a spouse faced 24 months of institutionalization for a diagnosed mental illness.

Imprisonment and Adultery

In the case of imprisonment, both spouses must not cohabitate if the divorce is filed after the defendant’s release from prison.

Unlike all other grounds for divorce, adultery is the only ground where spouses do not have to live in New Jersey for a year before they file. Determining grounds for divorce is a difficult process, so it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Moorestown Divorce Attorneys at Stockton Family Law Help Those Considering a Divorce

If you are interested in getting a divorce, you need to consult with an experienced attorney to determine fair settlement. Our Moorestown divorce attorneys at Stockton Family Law help clients throughout the difficult process of divorce. Contact us online or call us at 856-412-5052 for a free consultation. Located in Moorestown, New Jersey, we also serve clients in Mount Laurel, Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.