Should I Cite Fault Grounds During a New Jersey Divorce?

When getting divorced, one of the first things to determine is whether to cite fault grounds. Read on to learn more about your options when it comes to a New Jersey divorce.

What is a no-fault divorce?

“Grounds” refers to the reason that a divorce is occurring. New Jersey is a “no-fault” state which means you do not have to cite any specific “fault grounds” when you file for divorce. Instead, you can cite irreconcilable differences. This does not place blame on either party. Instead, it simply means that the marriage is beyond repair. For the most part, couples choose to file for a no-fault divorce, even if an event did occur to cause the divorce. This is because citing fault grounds can make the process a lot more complicated. If you cite fault grounds, the other party can contest the grounds. Additionally, fault grounds may require proof. For example, if you cite adultery as the grounds for your divorce, you may have to provide evidence of your spouse’s infidelity. Generally, a no-fault divorce is faster, less expensive, and more private. 

What are fault grounds?

While you do not have to cite fault grounds, you still have the option to do so. In New Jersey, you can file for divorce on the following grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Substance abuse
  • Institutionalization
  • Imprisonment
  • Deviant sexual conduct

Litigation vs alternative methods

Those who cite fault grounds will generally go through the process of litigation. This means that the matters of your divorce will be determined by a New Jersey judge. On the other hand, couples who choose to go through a no-fault divorce may be able to settle their divorce outside of court. This can be done in the following ways:

  • Mediation: This takes place outside of the court. Through this process, the couple will work with a neutral third party to settle the matters of their divorce.
  • Arbitration: Arbitration is similar to mediation, but here, the third party can make act as a judge and make binding decisions on behalf of the couple.
  • Collaborative divorce: This type of divorce takes place over a series of four-way meetings between the couple and their own attorneys. Other experts may be involved, including forensic accountants, and more.

If you are getting divorced in New Jersey, our firm is here to walk you through the proces. Reach out today to speak with an experienced divorce attorney.

Contact our experienced Red Bank firm

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, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.