Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage.
An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties are able to resolve all the issues – such as custody of the children,child support, property division, alimony, etc. – without the Court deciding any of those issues.A judge then grants the divorce based on an agreement between the parties.
A divorce is referred to as “contested” when a court must resolve one or more issues about which the spouses cannot agree.
New Jersey law provides for both “fault” and “no fault” divorces.
For no-fault divorces, either:
- the spouses must be separated for at least 18 months, during which time they must live in separate residences, or
- the spouses claim “irreconcilable differences,” and those difficulties have continued for at least six months.
A spouse is not required to file any papers in order to be “legally separated” in New Jersey.If you’re living apart from your spouse — and intend to remain living apart — then you’re considered legally separated.
The categories of “fault” divorces in New Jersey are:
- Extreme Cruelty
- Addiction to drugs or habitual drunkenness
- Institutionalization for mental illness
- Deviant sexual conduct
Irreconcilable differences is now the most common ground for divorce in New Jersey because it does not require a party to accuse the other of any improper conduct.
In order to file for divorce in New Jersey, the parties do not need to have been married in the state.In most cases, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least one year.The only exception is in the case of adultery, in which one spouse must be a New Jersey resident but no waiting period applies.
How long you must wait to file a New Jersey divorce depends on the grounds for the divorce.
Same-sex marriage has been recognized by New Jersey since 2013 and the same divorce laws apply to same-sex marriages.
If you’re ready to discuss the possibility of divorce with an experienced Bergen County family law attorney at Chase & Chase, please contact our office to arrange an appointment.