Making a decision to end a marriage is never easy. The divorce process itself can be even more difficult. You can potentially ease some of the stress of the divorce process by filing on the basis of irreconcilable differences if that is what is best for you and your children.
Grounds for Divorce in NJ: At-Fault vs. Irreconcilable Differences
In the state of New Jersey (NJ), a plaintiff can file for divorce based on the ground that the defendant, or soon to be ex-spouse, was at fault for some reason. Some examples of why the defendant may have been at fault include adultery, abandonment, abuse, incarceration, and institutionalization. These are reasonable examples to find a defendant at fault for the failure of the marriage and can serve as legal grounds for a divorce; however, a plaintiff seeking a divorce for one of these reasons must provide evidence to prove those claims are true.
Going through an at-fault divorce process can be complicated, stressful, and contentious. If there is not solid evidence of the reason of fault against the defendant, this process becomes even more difficult.
Irreconcilable Differences NJ
Fortunately, NJ law provides another option to decrease the animosity in the divorce process. You can file for divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences.
Irreconcilable differences means that neither spouse is at-fault for the failure of the marriage. The marriage just simply fails the couple is unable to reconcile or repair their relationship and marriage.
In order to qualify for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences in NJ, the plaintiff must show that the couple has been experiencing irreconcilable differences for at least six months.
Filing for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences is not the same thing as an uncontested divorce. It does not mean that both parties agree on how the marriage should be dissolved or how custody, child support, division of property, or any other terms of a marital settlement agreement should be resolved. It simply means that no one party is more at fault than the other.
Deciding the Grounds for Your Divorce
The options on how to divorce in NJ can feel overwhelming. You may have sufficient evidence to demonstrate the fault of your future ex-spouse. Still, you may want to consider whether finding fault is really the difficulty and whether filing based on irreconcilable differences might negatively impact you in any way.
Filing for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences may be the easiest way to file for divorce when the result is likely to be the same as a divorce filed on the grounds of the defendant being at-fault. Irreconcilable differences can decrease the bitterness that can be caused by two spouses trading accusations and blaming each other for the failed marriage.
However, in extreme cases, such as severe abuse, incarceration or other extreme situations, the court may very well take into account the circumstances for a spouse at-fault for these events and make a judgement more in favor of the spouse not at-fault.
Most of the time, it is best to consult with an experienced NJ divorce attorney before making a final decision about the ground you will assert for your divorce.
Has Your NJ Marriage Been Experiencing Irreconcilable Differences?
If you and your spouse have been experiencing irreconcilable differences and you have questions about NJ divorce law, contact me, Elizabeth Rozin-Golinder, by filling out my Contact Form or calling (732) 810-0034. Located in East Brunswick, I have years of experience as an NJ divorce attorney in Middlesex County and Monmouth County, and I'll provide expert advice about whether filing based on irreconcilable differences is right for your case.