What Do I Need to Know About New Jersey Grounds for Divorce?

The reasons that one couple may find themselves divorcing can be different from that of another. That is why not all divorces are the same. This can be seen by the need to cite “grounds” for the divorce at the start of the proceedings. Doing so informs the court as to why they are asking for a divorce. Once grounds are cited, the proceedings can continue. When dealing with these matters, it is important to contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance.

What Grounds Can be Cited?

In situations of divorce, people often assume there is always someone at fault for the end of a marriage. However, this is not true, as spouses can either cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds as the reason for divorce. Those who cite fault grounds are looking to hold their spouse responsible for the end of their marriage. Actions that constitute fault grounds can include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Desertion
  • Institutionalization
  • Incarceration
  • Extreme cruelty

Not all divorces are due to the fault of one spouse. Sometimes, marriages simply no longer work and cannot be fixed. In these situations, no-fault grounds can be cited as the reason for divorce. This may be in the event of:

  • Irreconcilable differences for at least six months
  • Separation for at least 18 months

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Spouses are required to settle their marital issues in a divorce. When spouses cannot agree on these matters, it is known as a contested divorce. This is usually the case when “fault” grounds are cited, as spouses often disagree with one another in these situations. This may require the couple to go to court and go through litigation so that a judge can determine the future of their marital assets for them. 

When spouses can agree to the terms of their divorce, they can go through an uncontested divorce. This tends to be the case in “no-fault” situations. Spouses in these cases may not need to divorce through litigation. Instead, they can participate in alternative divorce methods that let spouses compromise regarding their marital issues in a productive and healthy way. This is possible through mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce. 

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.