Residency Rules in NJ When Filing for Divorce
In the state of New Jersey, a court can only have jurisdiction over a divorce case if the residency requirement is met. A spouse cannot file a Complaint for Divorce with a New Jersey court unless either one or both of the spouses are a New Jersey resident for a period of at least one year. If the court determines it does not have jurisdiction over the divorce proceeding, it was dismiss the case.
Grounds for Divorce
In the state of New Jersey, there are nine court recognized grounds for divorce. Two of those grounds are considered no fault grounds by the New Jersey courts. The other seven are considered at fault grounds and may have to be proven in order to successfully obtain a divorce in New Jersey.
Whatever your reasons for divorce may be, it is essential that you understand what your rights are prior to filing a Complaint for Divorce in Ocean County or Monmouth County. The divorce attorneys at Villani & DeLuca are experienced in assisting litigants navigate through the complexities associated with the divorce process. Marriages fail for a number of reasons. The most common grounds for divorce in NJ include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lack of communication between the parties
- Some type of abuse, whether it be physical, psychological or financial
- Allocation of parental responsibilities
- Religious differences
- Difference in priorities between the parties
No Fault Divorce Grounds
The first no fault ground for divorce recognized by the state of New Jersey is known as irreconcilable differences. This is a fairly new ground in NJ, having been instituted in our courts in 2007. This was established in an attempt to make a divorce process more amicable. The plaintiff must show that the parties have a difference in their marriage that has caused the marriage to break down or fall apart over a period of six months or more, that he or she feels cannot be reconciled.
Separation is the second no fault divorce ground in New Jersey. The two divorcing parties must live in separate residences for a consecutive period of eighteen months and then one can file a Divorce Complaint. The filing party must also indicate that he or she feels that they cannot reconcile their differences.
At Fault Grounds For Divorce
Extreme cruelty is a very often used ground for divorce. It can include any type of mental or physical cruelty that makes it unreasonable for the courts to expect one spouse to continue to be married to another. Its wording can make it sound much harsher than it actually is. This ground is used as a catchall for an at fault divorce where no other grounds can be used.
In the state of NJ, adultery is defined as when one spouse willfully rejects the other by having a personal, intimate relationship with another person. There does not have to be evidence of any specific type of sexual behavior in order to assert the ground of adultery. In the Divorce Complaint, the plaintiff is asked to name the adulterer if his or her name is known. That person is also served a copy of the initial complaint, but does not have to answer it in any way.
Desertion, where one party withholds sex for a period of at least 12 months is also a grounds for divorce in New Jersey. Additionally, addiction to a narcotic, controlled substance or alcohol is a ground for divorce as long as it can be shown to have existed for 12 months.
Finally, a spouse’s entering a mental institution for a period of twelve months or more after the marriage took place, but before the complaint is filed, is a ground for divorce. Imprisonment for a period of 18 months or more after the marriage took place is a ground for divorce, and deviant sexual conduct without the consent of the other spouse, is the final New Jersey ground for divorce.
Talk to a NJ Lawyer About Grounds for Divorce
If you are thinking about filing for divorce in New Jersey, but you have questions about whether your grounds for divorcing your spouse are valid, call Villani & DeLuca today. Our divorce attorneys have many years of experience in handling divorce proceedings in Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey and can answer your questions. You can schedule your no obligation consultation with one of our divorce lawyers at no cost to you.