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What Do I Need to Know About Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

The reasons as to why one couple may find themselves in a situation of divorce can be largely different from another couple. This is why all divorce cases are different from one another. In order to begin the process, spouses must inform the court of the reasoning behind why they are asking for a divorce. This is the “grounds” for divorce. Once grounds are cited, the spouses can begin their divorce proceedings. When facing these matters, it is important to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for guidance.

What Grounds Can be Cited?

When dealing with matters of divorce, people often assume that someone is always at fault for the end of a marriage. However, this is not always the case. Spouses facing a divorce can either cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds as the reason for the end of their marriage. Individuals who wish to cite fault grounds are looking to hold the other spouse responsible for the divorce due to their actions. Actions that can call for fault grounds in New Jersey can include:

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

Not all divorces happen due to fault. Sometimes, they simply no longer work and cannot be fixed. When this happens, a spouse can cite no-fault grounds as the reason for their divorce. This may be in the event of the following:

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

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

During a divorce, spouses are required to settle their marital issues. How this is done can vary depending on the case. When spouses are unable to reach conclusions regarding these matters, it is known as a contested divorce. This tends to be the case in “fault” divorce cases, as spouses are often against one another in these situations. When this happens, the couple may be required to go to court and divorce through litigation, where a judge is appointed to settle these disagreements for them. 

On the other hand, spouses who are able to agree to the terms of their divorce can go through an uncontested divorce. This can be the case when spouses cite “no-fault” grounds When this happens, the spouses may not need to divorce through litigation in a courtroom. Instead, they can participate in various alternative methods that allow spouses to discuss their marital issues in a productive way to reach agreements. This can be done through mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce

Contact our Firm

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