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What are the grounds for a fault-based divorce in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2020 | Divorce |

In many states across the nation, there is a simplified divorce procedure where a couple only needs to say they have irreconcilable differences and they can be granted a divorce. New Jersey has no-fault and fault-based divorce. It is important to understand when and how to seek a divorce in either category. A no-fault divorce generally requires the parties to say their differences cannot be bridged and there is no chance to reconcile. They also must be separated for at least 18 months. For couples who want a more expeditious resolution, a fault-based divorce might be preferable.

With a fault-based divorce, there are certain causes that must be in place. If a spouse has committed adultery, this can be a justification for a divorce. A spouse who has deserted the other and been away for at least 12 months will be viewed as having committed desertion and this is a reason for divorce. A spouse who has been found to have committed extreme cruelty in a mental or physical way and that treatment places the other party in danger for his or her health or safety, it will be considered unreasonable to remain in the same domicile and this is grounds for divorce. This is applicable within three months of the last date in which the cruelty occurred.

If the parties have separated and were apart living in different locations for a minimum of 18 months and they do not see any possibility of reconciliation, there can be a divorce. When a party is addicted to narcotics or is habitually drunk for at least 12 months after the marriage and prior to the complaint for divorce, it is sufficient. A person who has been institutionalized for at least 24 months after the marriage can face a fault-based divorce.

When a defendant is imprisoned for 18 or more months after the marriage with an action that is not commenced until that person is released and cohabitation did not resume, there can be a divorce. When deviant sexual contact has taken place and the complaining spouse did not consent to it, it is grounds for divorce. Finally, irreconcilable differences – just as in the no-fault divorce – for at least six months with no chance or reconciliation will warrant a divorce.

Divorce is a difficult process, rife with emotions and concerns. If the above-listed issues are in place individually or more than one has occurred, it is possible to get a divorce. When considering the end of a marriage, having legal assistance from a law firm experienced in divorce cases might be able to help.

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