People divorce for many reasons. Sometimes a couple just grows apart over time and realizes that they no longer want the same things out of life. In other circumstances, an event like infidelity or abuse may cause divorce. New Jersey, like many other states, requires a divorcing couple to state their reason, or grounds, for filing for divorce.
What are the grounds for divorce?
The individual filing for divorce, called the plaintiff, must state a reason for the divorce. The state of New Jersey recognizes no-fault, also called irreconcilable differences, as a legal reason for divorce. When one files for no-fault divorce, at least one party must have lived in the state for 12 consecutive months prior to the filing. The couple must have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months and have determined that the marriage is not salvageable.
Grounds for divorce can also include separation, where the couple was living apart for at least 18 months. Extreme cruelty and other grounds, which may include adultery, are also recognized by the state. The courts may ask for evidence from both parties when determining factors like child support, custody arrangements, and asset division, no matter the reason for filing.
Where to turn for help
It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when one decides to file for divorce. The process can be intimidating so it’s important for New Jersey residents to seek legal assistance from an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can provide guidance on the filing process as well as help an individual negotiate divorce terms like spousal support, asset division, and custody of minor children.