What Do I Do if My Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?
Many people are unsure what to do in the case that they want a divorce but their spouse does not. Fortunately according to New Jersey law, you can request a divorce even if your partner does not wish to.
New Jersey is considered to be a “no fault” divorce state, meaning that you do not need to prove any kind of wrongdoing such as adultery, or abuse in order to file, and ultimately obtain, a divorce. The only thing you have to prove is that you have an “irreconcilable difference”, and your disagreement on whether or not to divorce qualifies as an irreconcilable difference.
Now while your spouse cannot contest your filing for divorce, they can contest terms of the divorce settlement such as child custody and visitation, child support, property division, and spousal support. This is where having an experienced Morris County divorce attorney can be of great benefit. They can help you to properly file the necessary documents with the courts, fight for your settlement rights, and advise you on what to expect and how to best navigate the divorce process.
Alternatively, you can file for divorce and cite a particular grievance, known in legal terms as “fault”. If you can prove your spouse to be at fault, you may receive a more favorable divorce settlement in terms of asset division and support settlements. Fault grounds include adultery, abandonment, abuse, neglect, or commission of a felony. Keep in mind however, that you must show evidence of the fault in court, your spouse can contest that evidence, and you may not be granted the divorce if you cannot successfully prove the fault in court. Again this is where a Morristown family law attorney with courtroom experience can be of great benefit to you. They can help you to obtain, and demonstrate to the court, evidence of fault, and help you to negotiate for a better divorce settlement.
In conclusion, in the state of New Jersey, you are within your rights to file for a divorce at any time. While filing for a no-fault divorce may take time to resolve, and you will most likely wish to have a divorce attorney to help you through the process, it is always an option. That being said, it is important to at least consider alternative options such as mediation and arbitration. They can often be a quicker process than filing for divorce in a court, are often much less contentious, and are much more private as any mediated divorce will not be a matter of public record, unlike traditional divorces.
Contact a Morris County Divorce Lawyer Today
At the law offices of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, we practice exclusively family law. This means we are uniquely suited to helping you with any divorce or family law related issue. With experience in fault based divorces, no-fault divorces, and mediation and arbitration, we are intimately familiar with the divorce process, and how to best manage and navigate the divorce process. We have also handled many high-profile divorces and divorces involving complex asset division such as business property valuation and division as well as investment and retirement portfolio valuation and division.