When “I do” becomes “I don’t”
While each state upholds its own waiting periods and residency requirements for filing for divorce, the difficult nature of the decision largely remains the same. The end of a marriage often includes choices that ripple across each aspect of a person’s life. Between the two parties, one’s finances, residences, children, emotions, and long-term goals may experience some level of upheaval in the wake of divorce. In order to mitigate potential turmoil, the State of New Jersey recommends that each party retain the services of an attorney to best understand one’s rights and responsibilities when proceeding with a divorce.
Seeking divorce in the State of New Jersey requires either an “at fault” or “no fault” claim. Specific grounds for divorce derive from one of the two. In an “at fault” divorce claim, one party alleges that the actions of the other necessitate the end of the marriage. Such claims must be proven and often lengthen the divorce process. “At fault” grounds for divorce include adultery, cruelty or violence, desertion from the marital residence for 12 months or more, drug/alcohol addiction, mental illness (confinement for at least 24 months), conviction of a crime (imprisonment for at least 18 months), or deviant sexual behaviour without the consent of the plaintiff. In a “no fault” petition, no blame falls directly on either spouse.
While no standard waiting period exists, filing for a “no fault” divorce must be preceded by an 18-month separation, except in the case of “irreconcilable differences,” which must be accompanied by a ‘proven’ six-month prior deterioration of the marriage. In the event of adultery, no waiting period exists.
The State of New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. Even so, the State makes no guarantee for a 50/50 split of assets. The grounds for divorce may affect a settlement agreement or potential mediation. Income, property, duration of the marriage, and the presence of children all come under consideration during the division of assets.
The process of divorcing a spouse differs from person to person in time, difficulty, cost, and even the number of steps involved. Still, each individual is entitled to protections under the law. An integral piece of obtaining a finalised divorce decree includes a strong comprehension of the intricacies of New Jersey Divorce Law, often demonstrated by an attorney. Appropriate guidance ensures the greatest effort toward efficiency and equity for all parties involved.
If you, or someone you know, is seeking a divorce, please do not hesitate to contact A.Brown Esq. LLC for a free consultation.
Written by Nya B. Earrusso.
Edited by Adam C. Brown, Esq.