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.


  • steph

    married for 15 years. I got a pain & suffering settlement last year. May be filing for divorce, will he be able to get it? He also is on temporary disability but clearly can work, will he have to go back to work? Will i be able to get support?? He also has cheated on me in the past.

  • Martin Ebelhardt

    I had a quick question I live in Minnesota and my wife and I have been informally separated and living apart for approximately 18 months. In October of 2010, she moved to New Jersey to live with her family. I have not filed for divorce yet in Minnesota because she requested that I wait until she gets settled back east.

    I started seeing someone while we were informally separated, about a year ago. I note that New Jersey has both fault and no fault divorce and that there is an exemption for the 12 months filing requirement if one spouse claims adultery. Can my wife claim adultery and file in New Jersey based on what I have described above, or is the exemption for a husband and wife who have both been living in New Jersey for less than a year when the alleged adultery occurred?

    It would seem unlikely that the state would allow someone to move from elsewhere simply for the purpose of filing an adultery claim, but I think it is probably something I should ask a NJ attorney.

    Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.



    • Anonymous

      What sort of monster are you? It is isnt’ enough you are an emotinal abuser and narsisstic?

  • Anonymous

    Please remove comment above from this site. It should have been private and not for the world to see.

    • Jonathan

      You replied to a public comment. What made you think your reply was going to be private?

  • David

    I am thinking of seperating from my wife. We have 2 kids, one 9 and the other 3. We have lived in her parents house for over 6 years now. Back in 2005, we had to sell out house because of of job being cut. I asked her to go to work and she told me she cant. We moved in with her parents and in the beginning we split the expenses in house, half the mortgage & utilities. Now it has increased, where I have to pay lawn maintenance and other bills that I feel I shouldnt pay. Last year I got sick and filed for disability. I make close to 3000 a month with the children’s checks for Social Security. I have to give my inlaws anywhere from 1700 – 2000 a month, and I have to pay my own health benefits as well as my wife’s. I went through all of my savings. My wife still doesnt work. With the stress of my wife fighting with her parents and he parents screaming at each other, I decided to re-locate to Florida and told my wife we can live there within our means with money left over. She doesnt want to leave her parents. Her parents want to move out west anyway and want to buy a 6000sq ft house, a house I wouldnt be able to afford. Since she has decided to choose her parents over me, I have decided to leave come June. I wish I could take the children out of this environment, but it is very hard. My health has declined, and I am on Ativan for panic attacks from all the stress in this house. My question is how much money am I going to pay. I know the checks for children will go to her and that is fine. I like to know how much are they going to take from my check. She doesnt work and she will be living with her parents, who do own 2 houses and have plenty of money. I used to work 3 jobs to make ends meet, however, I am sick and perm disabled. I cannot go out and get a part time job. I need a just a basic 2 bedroom condo or apartment to live in and I need some cash in order to pay my 10 prescriptions. If cannot afford them, I will die. If I live under this stress, I will have a heart attack. I hate to leave the children, but I dont want them to grow up without a father. However, I could fly them to FL for the summers and at least it would be 2 months of a stress free environment.