Relationships can be very difficult to maintain. Circumstances change quickly, and your feelings for your partner can change just as fast. Unfortunately, dissolving a marriage isn’t as simple as merely collecting your things and moving out. Divorce is a complex legal process, and one that requires representation from an experienced divorce lawyer in Paramus. The good news is that New Jersey allows “no-fault” divorces, which makes it easier for couples to separate without the grounds needed for divorce in other states. Here’s a look at the difference between no-fault and fault divorce in NJ.
“No-fault” divorces are those based on irreconcilable differences, which is another way of saying a couple can’t get along anymore and there’s no reasonable chance they’ll get back together in the future. In a no-fault divorce, couples don’t have to allege or prove that the other spouse did something bad which led to the separation. You can also file for a no-fault divorce in Bergen County if you allege that you and your spouse have had irreconcilable differences for a period of six or more months prior to filing. You do not need to be living apart in order to file for divorce in NJ.
New Jersey is not strictly a no-fault state. Spouses may still file for divorce based on another spouse’s fault, or the misconduct that caused the divorce. In New Jersey, the grounds for filing a fault divorce include adultery, willful desertion (abandonment) for at least 12 months, physical or mental cruelty, and continued drug or alcohol abuse for a period of at least 12 months. Although judges won’t consider fault or misconduct when determining property division between spouses, they can consider evidence of fault or misconduct when deciding on a reasonable and just alimony. Whether you’re considering pursuing a fault divorce or your spouse has filed for a fault-based divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney serving Bergen County for the best advice on how to proceed.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce and have questions, contact our law office today for a free consultation. We are located in Westwood, NJ and provide legal services for clients throughout northern NJ in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County and Hudson County.