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Does Adultery Impact a New Jersey Divorce?

Nowadays, divorces are incredibly common. One of the most common reasons for divorce is adultery. If your spouse has committed adultery, you are likely looking into your options. You may also be wondering how adultery can impact the outcome of your divorce. These questions are common and it is important to know that you are not alone. If you wish to file for divorce due to adultery, you should contact an experienced divorce attorney who can walk you through the process and ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible. Read on to learn more about adultery in New Jersey and the various options you may have.

What are New Jersey’s Grounds for Divorce?

Grounds are the legal reason a divorce is occurring. In New Jersey, spouses must either cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds. No-fault grounds can be a result of physical separation for 18 or more consecutive months or irreconcilable differences for at least one year. Fault grounds are filed as a result of a spouse’s misconduct, such as adultery. 

Do I Have to Cite Fault Grounds if My Spouse Committed Adultery?

If your divorce is occurring as a result of adultery, you do not have to cite fault grounds. In fact, in many cases, a couple may choose to cite no-fault grounds in order to avoid a lengthy legal battle. Additionally, citing fault grounds may come with the responsibility of proving fault. Other times, spouses may choose to participate in alternative divorce methods, such as mediation, arbitration, or collaborative divorce. This allows them to divorce with privacy instead of citing fault grounds to become public record. 

Can Adultery Impact Divorce Proceedings?

No divorce is the same. Each divorce process will be different and have a different outcome. Some of the factors that may impact proceedings include the length of divorce, and the circumstances of the marriage ending. Adultery can impact a New Jersey divorce in the following ways: 

  • Division of Assets: When dealing with the equitable distribution of marital property, there is no impact of fault vs. no-fault divorce.
  • Alimony and spousal support: A spouse who committed adultery may be awarded less alimony or required to pay a greater amount in alimony. 
  • Child custody: Marital misconduct may not have an impact on this matter unless the misconduct was potentially harmful to the child, then it may be considered. 
  • Child support: The most common way for adultery to be a factor is through a trickle-down effect after receiving less parenting time as per the child custody agreement.

If you have any questions regarding adultery and how it may affect a New Jersey divorce, contact our firm today to speak with an experienced attorney.


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