Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey


In New Jersey, pursuant to NJSA 2A:34-1, a divorce judgment can be obtained based on one of nine different grounds: the marriage is irretrievably broken; one of the spouses committed extreme mental or physical cruelty against the other; a spouse committed adultery; he/she deserted the other party; a spouse voluntarily induced addiction or drunkenness; the spouses have lived separated for at least 18 months in different residences; one of the spouses has been incarcerated for at least 18 months or institutionalization for at least 24 months; or finally, one of the spouses had engaged in deviant sexual conduct.

Since 2007, New Jersey joined the ranks of no-fault divorce states, when the legislature adopted the “irreconcilable differences” ground for divorce.  What this means to you is that frankly, to the court it just does not matter why you are seeking a divorce.  Fault, that is who did what to whom is not going to be a factor in your divorce unless there is a justifiable reason for it.  Such reasons may include, by way of example, certain types of custody disputes, child neglect or abuse allegations, or a spouse’s spending marital assets on an adulterous affair. The former may impact child custody and time-sharing, and the latter may impact the equitable distribution of your financial assets and liabilities.

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