At-Fault Divorce Still Available in New Jersey

Marital strifeEvery state offers some form of no-fault divorce, where parties can typically end a marriage without specifying grounds other than “irreconcilable differences.” In 17 states, “at fault” divorce is no longer an option. New Jersey is not one of those states. New Jersey currently allows a party to petition the court for a divorce based on a number of grounds, from adultery to desertion, from drug or alcohol abuse to physical or mental cruelty. Other grounds stated in the New Jersey statute include:

  • Separation for at least 18 months
  • Institutionalization in a mental facility for at least 24 month
  • Imprisonment for 18 consecutive months
  • Unwanted deviant sexual conduct within the marriage

Why Would You Pursue an At-Fault Divorce?

In most instances, the principal reason for filing an at-fault divorce complaint is to secure advantage in custody or support proceedings, or to obtain a disproportionate share of the marital estate. While New Jersey law does not specifically refer to the wrongdoing of one of the parties as a factor in property division, the court can take into account any factor deemed relevant. This holds true with respect to alimony or spousal support as well.

Though not the case in New Jersey, some states require a longer waiting period for no-fault divorces to be finalized than for at-fault divorces. For example, New York has a one year waiting period that only applies to no-fault divorce.

The Costs of At-Fault Divorce

In an at-fault divorce, you will likely have to go to court to prove your ex’s wrongdoing. That can be time-consuming and expensive, as well as embarrassing.

Contact Us

At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.