Adultery and Divorce in New Jersey
It has been estimated that as many as one (1) in five (5) Americans admit to cheating on their significant others. While this number may come as a shock, unfortunately many individuals have already been impacted by infidelity within their own relationship or marriage. Many of our clients will then ask: when a marriage ends due to adultery, does that have a material impact on divorce proceedings in New Jersey?
Today, our adultery and divorce attorneys will discuss the grounds for divorce in NJ, the options available to spouses filing for divorce, and how adultery can have a material affect on the outcome of your divorce.
Morris County, NJ Adultery Lawyers Identify Grounds for Divorce
In New Jersey, spouses filing for divorce must choose either “no-fault” or “fault” based divorce. No-fault divorce is filed on the grounds of a physical separation of 18 or more consecutive months or you have been experiencing irreconcilable differences for a minimum of one (1) year. No fault divorces are much more common than fault divorces in New Jersey.
Fault divorce can be filed on the grounds of misconduct by a spouse during the marriage. One of the accepted types of misconduct is adultery. Your Morris County divorce lawyer may recommend filing for fault divorce if you are able to prove misconduct by your spouse and you believe that the added burden of proof is worth the potential pay-off as we will discuss in greater detail below.
If a Spouse has Committed Adultery, do I Have to File for Fault Divorce?
For spouses who have been the victim of marital misconduct, there is no obligation to file for fault divorce. You should consult with your Morris County divorce attorney to determine the best course of action based on your individual circumstances. Many divorcing couples understand that although their marriage is dissolving, it is not worth the hassle of going through a contentious legal battle to prove blame, find fault, and so forth. Many parents choose no-fault divorce to show their children that they are still going to be able to work together as successful co-parents.
Along those lines, fault based divorce involves airing your dirty laundry in a public setting. There are multitude of ways to go about the divorce process in a more private, collaborative manner which may not involve trying to prove adultery in court. These alternatives may include mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. No matter what decision you make, working with a qualified divorce attorney is a great first step towards reaching a successful conclusion.
Mendham Fault Divorce Attorneys Discuss Impact of Adultery on Divorce Proceedings
No two divorces are exactly the same. The nature, duration, and details of the adultery or other marital misconduct which led to your divorce will go a long way in determining the impact it may have on your eventual divorce settlement agreement. However, there are some high level consistencies which your Mendham fault divorce attorney may be able to identify. Here is how adultery may impact the various aspects of your divorce:
- Division of Assets – there is no material impact of fault vs. no-fault divorce on the equitable distribution of marital property such as owned real estate, business assets, debts, etc.
- Alimony and Spousal Support – adultery will likely have the largest impact on the terms of your alimony agreement. The spouse who has committed adultery or another form of misconduct may either be awarded less alimony or be ordered to pay a greater amount of alimony depending on your circumstances
- Child Custody – in general terms, marital misconduct will not have a serious impact on child custody considerations. However, if the adultery or other for of marital misconduct has the potential to be dangerous or harmful to the child, then it will be considered. For example, a grounds for fault divorce is substance abuse issues. It may be successfully argued that such an individual may be a danger to children and therefore may impact your child custody terms
- Child Support – adultery does not have a direct impact on child support considerations. The most common way for child support to be impacted by marital misconduct would be through a trickle down effect after receiving less parenting time as per your child custody agreement
Contact our Morristown Adultery and Divorce Attorneys Today
The adultery and divorce attorneys of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark practice exclusively divorce and family law for our Morris County clients from local towns including Morristown, Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morris Township, and all of Northern New Jersey. This exclusivity allows our firm to focus on the legal issues and statutes which matter most to our clients and their families. All three of our partners have been recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys, an honor earned by only two (2) percent of practicing attorneys in the state. We take pride in offering experienced and qualified legal solutions while always putting the individual needs and concerns of our clients first.
To speak with a qualified divorce attorney regarding your divorce questions or concerns, please contact us online or call our Morristown, NJ offices by dialing (973) 840-8970 today for a free and confidential consultation.