Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Divorce --- what does New Jersey law say?

Every state has laws defining what constitutes a marriage. The same holds true for divorce.  New Jersey, like all other jurisdictions, has laws on the books that set forth the requirements for obtaining a divorce.

As in most other states, no-fault divorces are permitted in New Jersey. This means there is no need for one spouse to prove fault in court in order to obtain a divorce. It's enough to document that the parties have been living apart for a minimum of 18 months before the proceedings are initiated.

At least one of the spouses must have resided in New Jersey for at least a year before the divorce action is commenced.  In cases of adultery, the one year requirement is not applicable. A divorce degree becomes final immediately, though a successful appeal could alter that.

No-fault is not the only way to obtain a divorce in New Jersey. Adultery, imprisonment, cruelty and violence, desertion and deviant sexual behavior are also sufficient grounds upon which a judgment of divorce may be granted. In order to divorce on the grounds of imprisonment, the term of imprisonment must have been for a term exceeding 18 months and imposed during the marriage. When mental illness is alleged, it must be based upon proof that the individual involved has been institutionalized during the marriage for a continuous period of at least for 24 months.  

Any person considering divorce, or who has been served papers, may benefit from consulting an attorney.  New Jersey family law lawyers are able to clarify the different laws and local court procedures involved. While it is possible to obtain a divorce without the hep of a lawyer, there are simply too many variables for most individuals to handle the proceedings on their own. 

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