New Jersey Divorce Laws 6

Divorce Law Basics in the State of New Jersey

Also See: New Jersey Marriage Laws

Statute: New Jersey State Divorce Code (Title 2A, Chapters 34.8 & 34.10)

No-Fault Grounds:

  • Separation for at least 18 consecutive months without the prospect of reconciliation

At-Fault Grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion for at least 12 months or more
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Voluntary and habitual abuse of alcohol or drugs for12 or more consecutive months
  • Confinement in a mental institution for mental illness for at least 24 consecutive months after the marriage and prior to filing the complaint
  • Conviction of a crime and imprisonment for at least 18 consecutive months after themarriage
  • Deviant sexual behavior without the consent of the filing party

Residency: Either party must be a resident of the state for at least 1 year prior to filing unless the divorce is sought on the grounds of adultery in which case the 1 year waiting period is removed.

Legal Separation Recognized? Yes. Alimony, property distribution and child support can be awarded.

Counseling Requirements: The court shall require the parties to attend mediation if it appears that reconciliation is possible; the court shall also order the parties to attend parenting education classes if a minor child is involved.

Property Distribution: New Jersey relies on “equitable distribution” so the court will distribute the marital property “in an equitable manner” if the parties can’t agree on their own. Separate property (property acquired prior to the marriage, as a gift or through inheritance) is not included in property distribution.

Alimony: Alimony may be awarded to either party at the discretion of the court.


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