Citing Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

When a couple goes through a divorce, it can very quickly become a difficult and exhausting process. There are many steps to be completed before a divorce is final. In the state of New Jersey, there are certain requirements to begin the divorce proceedings. One of the first things to be done is for spouses to cite grounds for their divorce. While many believe divorces only take place if there is a “fault” for the end of the marriage, this is not always the case. In the state of New Jersey, spouses can cite either fault or no-fault grounds to begin their divorce.

Fault Grounds

While divorce proceedings begin, spouses have the opportunity to cite fault grounds. When fault grounds are cited in a divorce case, it means one spouse is holding the other responsible for the end of their marriage. In the state of New Jersey, there are several reasons that a spouse may cite fault grounds. This can include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Desertion
  • Incarceration
  • Institutionalization
  • Extreme cruelty

There are some cases in which spouses are unsure about whether or not they want to cite fault grounds in a divorce. This can be due to the possibility of litigation in addition to creating more problems with their spouse. When a spouse cites fault grounds, the other spouse is able to answer this accusation. This could possibly lead to further legal issues. It is commonly misconstrued that when a spouse cites fault grounds, the outcome of the divorce can be affected. However, fault grounds usually do not impact the outcome of a spouse’s marital issues in a divorce.

No-Fault Grounds

When no-fault grounds is cited in a divorce, it means neither spouse is holding the other responsible for the end of their marriage. Grounds for a no-fault divorce may include:

  • Irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months
  • Separation for at least 18 months

Citing no-fault grounds means the divorce proceedings may begin and spouses can start to settle their marital issues. This requires both spouses to reach agreements to the terms of these issues. This may include child custody, child support, parenting time, alimony, and the division of assets. When this happens, the couple has the opportunity to decide the method they wish to use to divorce. Alternative methods may consist of mediated divorce or collaborative divorce.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Offices of George J. Mardinly today.

Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.