Grounds For Divorce

In January of 2007, the New Jersey Legislature amended the statute in order to allow spouses to get divorced on no-fault grounds. The no-fault cause of action, specifically “irreconcilable differences”, means that you only need to allege that irreconcilable differences arose for a period of at least six (6) months prior to the filing of the Complaint and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. By alleging irreconcilable differences, you do not need to air dirty laundry about your spouse. The Complaint for Divorce is a public record and easily accessible by the public so by filing under irreconcilable differences, your marital differences remain somewhat private. In addition, by proceeding with a no-fault divorce, the process might be a lot more amicable between you and your spouse.

Despite the State being a no-fault state, you can still allege fault grounds as the basis for the divorce, which can be found under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2. Such fault grounds include:

1. Adultery;

2. Willful and continued desertion for the term of twelve (12) or more months;

3. Extreme cruelty;

4. Separation for a period of at least eighteen (18) or more consecutive months;

5. Voluntarily induced addiction or habituation to any narcotic drug;

6. Habitual drunkenness for a period of twelve (12) or more consecutive months;

7. Institutionalization for mental illness for a period of twenty-four (24) or more consecutive months;

8. Imprisonment of your spouse for eighteen (18) or more consecutive months;

9. Deviant sexual conduct voluntarily performed by your spouse without your consent.

N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2.