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Divorce FAQ: Do You Need a Reason to Divorce?

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Why Seek The End of the Marriage

One of the most commonly asked questions about getting a divorce in New Jersey is whether or not one needs a reason to seek a divorce. While everyone may have a personal reason for wanting to end the marriage, New Jersey law has different requirements in order for a reason to be valid. Here is what you should know about the grounds for divorce in New Jersey.

Fault Versus No-Fault

The reasons or grounds for a divorce in New Jersey can be broken into two categories: fault-based grounds and no-fault grounds. While New Jersey allows for no-fault divorces, it is not a pure no-fault state, as individuals seeking a divorce may do so based on grounds outlined in New Jersey law.

The primary difference between the two, besides the reason itself, is the burden of proof that accompanies a fault-based divorce. With a divorce based on fault, individuals must prove that one spouse’s conduct caused the failure of the marriage.

No-Fault Grounds

If seeking a no-fault divorce, there are several requirements that must be met in order for you to file. These requirements include the following:

  • Either you or your spouse must have lived in New Jersey for at least one year (12 consecutive months) prior to filing for divorce.
  • Both you and your spouse believe that you have irreconcilable differences between you and have experienced these differences for at least six months.
  • The differences between you and your spouse have caused your marriage to experience irreparable harm, pushing the marriage toward its end with no chance of reconciliation.

If you do not meet these criteria, then you can still seek a no-fault divorce on the ground of separation. To do so, you and your spouse must have lived separately from one another for at least 18 consecutive months and demonstrate no chance of reconciliation.

Fault Grounds

Getting a divorce based on fault can occur if one of the following reasons is chosen:

  • Adultery.
  • Willful desertion that has occurred for at least 12 months.
  • Imprisonment.
  • Habitual drunkenness of at least 12 months.
  • Extreme cruelty, either mental or physical, to the point where the health and wellbeing of a spouse is in danger.

With these grounds, it is important to have evidence ready to show that one of these reasons has caused irreparable damage to the marriage. Keep in mind that these reasons will not impact a judge’s determination as it relates to property distribution.

Speak With a New Jersey Divorce Attorney

Choosing your reason for your divorce is important and must be considered carefully. It is important to consult a divorce attorney who can guide you throughout each decision that must be made. At Site:BusinessName}, we understand that getting a divorce is a life-changing decision. We are here to help you each step of the way and to protect your rights throughout the process.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, call us at (732) 810-0034 or visit us online.

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