Adultery and Divorce in New Jersey
While adultery doesn’t often occur without other relationship factors, it can cause an irrevocable split in a marriage. Though many couples find ways to mend their marriage after someone is unfaithful, the hurt it causes is enough for many to want a divorce.
Adultery impacts divorce proceedings differently depending on the state you live in. If you’re seeking a divorce in NJ because your partner cheated, you need to know how divorce proceedings work in the Garden State.
Does adultery affect divorce in NJ? Read this guide to learn more.
Definition of Adultery in NJ
Some states still consider adultery a crime. In these states, adultery laws impact divorce in a far different manner than New Jersey. In contrast, New Jersey defines adultery as one spouse entering into a personal and intimate relationship with another person.
Though adultery defined this way is grounds for a no-wait, at-fault divorce, it is not considered a crime. New Jersey laws about adultery begin and end in the context of divorce.
How Does Adultery Affect Your Divorce?
Adultery and divorce in New Jersey are not more or less common than in any other state. Since there is no illegality surrounding the act, many think infidelity will not play a role in their divorce. This is not true.
Before the 1980s, any married couple filing for divorce had to prove marital fault to the court. Once a party proved fault, the court then divided assets, awarded alimony, and determining child custody.
Adultery was then considered a fault. These days, couples are no longer required to prove fault. The state takes the view of marriage as a contract rather than a religious union or relationship.
This doesn’t mean adultery will not affect your divorce. If you were the adulterer, your spouse still has the option to cite marital infidelity as grounds for divorce. In this case, the waiting period will be waved, and litigation can commence.
If you or your spouse cite marital infidelity, the court will ask for information. One famous New Jersey case involved a famous singer’s name surfacing in a proceeding. From there, a judge will ask for information regarding the affair.
New Jersey Laws About Adultery, Be Prepared
Though New Jersey couples have the option to file for a “no-fault” divorce, those who chose to claim infidelity as a reason for divorce do so for several reasons.
Adultery can affect how much the cheating spouse will pay in alimony and can have an effect on the custody of the child or children.
If the court determines that the unfaithful party’s infidelity negatively impacted the other partner’s finances, he or she may be awarded increased alimony payments and a larger settlement.
It can also affect child custody arrangements. If the unfaithful spouse’s partner is a danger to the children, a judge can alter visitation rights.
Either way, if you plan to claim adultery as grounds for divorce in New Jersey, make sure you have a distinguished lawyer on your side. These cases tend to be long and messy.
Divorce in NJ
Divorce is heartbreaking, no matter the circumstances. The long road to dissolution is fraught with pain, sorrow, and loneliness.
If you’re seeking a divorce in NJ, you need the best on your side. Dalena & Bosch take each case with the compassion and care it deserves. If you need a divorce lawyer, contact us today. Our team of passionate and dedicated divorce attorneys is here to help you.
Our office is located in Madison, New Jersey in Morris County. We serve clients outside of Morris County as well as the communities within.