Grounds are the causes why one or both spouses seek a divorce, and it is important to choose the grounds carefully before deciding. Every state has certain regulations that must be followed, including procedures for filing a no-fault divorce. This is when neither party has to give details about why the marriage did not succeed. These divorces are not as complex, since no one is getting blamed or taking on responsibility for the marriage’s end. Examples of no-fault cases include a long separation and irreconcilable differences.
Fault-based divorces are filed when one partner asserts that their partner’s behaviors led to marital problems. Specific reasons must be given, and some of the more common ones include abandonment, physical or mental abuse, adultery, drug or alcohol addiction, and imprisonment.
New Jersey spouses can request either a no-fault or fault-based divorce. Those that choose no-fault must meet certain criteria, which includes residing in New Jersey for one year prior to filing for divorce. The couple must have also been living apart for 18 consecutive months or more. For irreconcilable differences, there must be an ongoing situation for at least six months, with no hope that the marriage can be saved.
New Jersey fault-based divorces require proof of the spouse’s misbehavior, and can have effects on child custody, property division, and alimony. The accusing spouse may have to invest significant time and money into an investigation. Proving adultery involves obtaining the name of the person that the spouse was unfaithful with and serving them so that they can defend themselves. There may be a need for a private investigator and a divorce attorney who can help with discovery requests for phone bills, financial records, and other proof.
For cases of extreme cruelty, the plaintiff must show a list that details the abuse and certify that the last time it occurred was over three months before the divorce was filed. The evidence will need to be presented in court in front of a judge. For these cases, the plaintiff does not need to be a New Jersey resident for a certain time period before filing. Grounds of separation and desertion must also be proven. Desertion occurs when one spouse abandons the other by moving from the home, or by denying the partner a sexual relationship for a period of one year or more. Separations must be 18 months or more, with both partners physically living in different places.
Divorces can be traumatic, and it helps to have an experienced legal professional on your side during this stressful time. Contact a knowledgeable Monmouth County divorce lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. today for a free case evaluation. Call us at 732-493-9400 or complete an online form. Our office is in Eatontown, New Jersey, and we represent clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Ocean Township, Fair Haven, Eatontown, Red Bank, Tinton Falls, Shrewsbury, Middletown Township, Wall Township, Sea Girt, and Spring Lake.