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What Grounds Can Be Cited for Divorce in New Jersey?

When people enter a marriage, they typically believe that it will last forever. However, divorces do happen. This is often a difficult and emotionally exhausting process for spouses. There are many steps that need to be taken in order to finalize a divorce. To begin the process, spouses must cite grounds for divorce. While many people believe someone is always at “fault” in a divorce, this is not always the case. Spouses in the state of New Jersey can cite either fault or no-fault grounds to begin their divorce proceedings. 

Fault Grounds

Unfortunately, not all marriages go as planned. Sometimes, one spouse may engage in an activity that causes their partner to want to end the marriage. When this happens, a spouse can cite fault grounds for their divorce. This means that they want to hold the other spouse responsible for the end of their marriage. There are several actions that can call for citing fault grounds in New Jersey. This can include but is not limited to:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Desertion
  • Institutionalization
  • Incarceration
  • Extreme cruelty

Spouses are sometimes unsure about whether or not they should cite fault grounds. This is often the case if they do not want to participate in a litigated divorce or if they do not want to create tension. When fault grounds is cited, the other spouse can respond to this accusation. Sometimes, this can cause the situation to heighten, resulting in further problems between the two. While this is true, it is important for people to know that if they want to cite fault grounds, it does not impact the outcome of the divorce proceedings.

No-Fault Grounds

Marriages do not always have to end with blame placed on one or the other spouse. There are many divorce cases in which neither spouse wants to hold the other responsible for the end of their marriage. Sometimes, marriages simply do not work. If a marriage has broken down and cannot be fixed, a spouse can cite no-fault grounds for their divorce. This may be the case in the event of one of the following circumstances:

  • Irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months
  • Separation for at least 18 months

When a spouse cites no-fault grounds, they must reach an agreement regarding their marital issues before moving forward with an uncontested divorce. This requires them to settle child custody, child support, alimony, the division of assets, and more. Once the spouses can reach an agreement, they are able to participate in different methods of divorce to reach their desired results. This does not always mean litigation. They can divorce through mediation, a collaborative divorce, or arbitration. 

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.