No-Fault and At-Fault Divorce in New Jersey

The Impact of Marital Misconduct on Divorce

No-Fault and At-Fault Divorce in New JerseyA marriage may fail for many reasons. Sometimes, the parties change with the years and find they have less and less in common. Sometimes, one of the parties engages in bad or wrongful behavior—unfaithfulness or financial shenanigans—that irreparably breaks the bonds of trust.

In New Jersey, as in many states, when you file for divorce, you can choose to pursue a “no-fault” or an “at-fault” divorce.

What Is a No-Fault Divorce?

A no-fault divorce is one where neither party is required to cite specific grounds for the marital dissolution. To qualify for no-fault divorce, you must show that you have been physically separated for a minimum of 18 consecutive months or that you have had irreconcilable differences that have lasted for more than 6 months. Most New Jersey divorces are filed as no-fault divorces. For this reason, there’s a common perception of a “waiting period” for divorce in New Jersey.

What Is an At-Fault Divorce?

With at-fault divorce proceedings, one of the parties must provide a legal reason for the termination of the marriage. Commonly accepted grounds for divorce in New Jersey include:

  • Deviant sexual behavior
  • Desertion (actual or constructive)
  • Habitual substance abuse
  • Extreme mental or physical cruelty
  • Imprisonment or institutionalization
  • Adultery

As a general rule, fault will not be a factor in property or support disputes in New Jersey, but may be considered when determining custody and parenting time.

Contact the Law Office of David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.

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