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No-Fault vs. Fault Divorce in NJ

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Jan 4, 2022

No-Fault vs. Fault Divorce in NJ

No-Fault vs. Fault Divorce in NJ

Are you aware of no-fault vs. fault divorce? Before the 1970s, all divorces in the U.S. were fault-based, leading some couples to make false allegations to get divorced successfully.

No-fault divorce laws were passed to solve this problem, allowing couples to divorce without blaming one spouse or the other.

New Jersey is not on the list of seventeen states that are considered no-fault states. However, NJ divorce laws allow couples to pursue either type, depending on their circumstances and desired outcome.

If you consider a no-fault vs. fault divorce, this article will explain the differences and requirements for both.

No-Fault Divorce

A couple should pursue a no-fault divorce if they have discovered that they have irreconcilable differences without either person having done something wrong.

Irreconcilable differences mean that a couple does not have a reasonable chance of getting back together, despite counseling. On the other hand, there is no need to claim that one spouse has done anything wrong, so this is an ideal course of action for a couple who does not want to air their dirty laundry or defend against embarrassing accusations in court.

In addition to keeping personal matters private, a no-fault divorce may also be easier on children.

There are four main requirements to file for no-fault divorce in N.J.

  1. You or your spouse have resided in NJ for 12 consecutive months.
  2. You have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months.
  3. The irreconcilable differences have severely caused a breakdown of the marriage that appears the marriage should end.
  4. You have no reasonable chance of reconciliation.

Another way to file for a no-fault divorce is to demonstrate to the court that you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 18 months and there is no chance of reconciliation.

Fault Divorce

A couple may want to pursue fault-based divorce if one spouse has committed misconduct terrible enough to make the other spouse want to end the marriage.

The following are reasons the divorce process in N.J. accepts for fault divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Drug or alcohol abuse for at least 12 months
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization for mental illness
  • Physical or mental cruelty that endangers the safety or health of the other spouse or makes it unreasonable to continue living together
  • Willful desertion for at least 12 months

For a complete list, see N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2. Note that you will need to prove any accusation you make as a part of this process.

If you are filing for a fault-based divorce, it’s essential to contact an experienced family law attorney for help. Misconduct on one spouse may impact a court’s decision regarding alimony payments or child custody.

For example, if one spouse has cheated on the other, the spouse who cheated may be required to pay more in alimony to the innocent spouse.

No-Fault Vs. Fault Divorce

While New Jersey allows both types of divorce, the requirements for each may be different from those of other states. That’s why it’s vital to speak with a divorce attorney from Dalena & Bosch.

Contact Dalena & Bosch today to schedule a consultation session and learn more about your no-fault vs. fault divorce options in New Jersey.

Elizabeth Dalena helped me through a very difficult divorce and I felt working with her was like working with a friend you can trust! Beth, thank you for your professionalism and helping me through this difficult time.
Michael Mastrogiacomo - March 2020
If you’ve been searching for an honest and empathetic attorney...someone you can trust while you navigate the difficult and emotional world of family law, then do yourself a favor and contact Beth Dalena & Jessica Bosch. You’ll be so glad you did.
Par 5 Consulting - March 2020
When you are in the painful and often frightening process of divorce, the women of this law firm bring you confidence and security with their knowledge and professionalism. They exhibit that rare combination of the willingness to hold your hand like a compassionate friend and defend you like a piranha in the courtroom when necessary. They exhibit dedication, and the grace and wisdom of their long term experience. They look…
Cindy Morhouse - February 2020
These ladies have helped me several times in my experience with them. Jessica was my divorce attorney and I can say without hesitation, she was professionally and personally a gift to me. She handled my case (adversarial at best) with grace and knowledge. A fighter when necessary. She handled me in my personal state as a friend. Compassionate and kind. Beth assisted me with rewriting my deed after my divorce…
Scarlett O - January 2020
I chose Jessica A. Bosch to represent me because she was compassionate and knowledgeable. My divorce was a long and difficult journey. During this time, I lost sight of what was really important. Jessica kept me grounded and focused on what would be best for me after the divorce. I am grateful for her help in protecting two very important financial things that I might have given up. I didn't…
Cynthia R - December 2019