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Divorce Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey does not have a waiting period for fault divorce, but requires 18 months of separation before granting no fault divorce.

Common law marriage does not exist in New Jersey.

Residency and jurisdiction in New Jersey
At least one spouse must live in New Jersey for at least one year before filing for divorce unless adultery is the cause of the divorce. If adultery is the cause, divorce may be filed in New Jersey as soon as one spouse moves to the State.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in New Jersey
No fault divorce is possible in New Jersey, but only on the grounds of living separately for at least 18 months, with no reasonable chance of reconciliation.

Acceptable grounds for fault divorce are:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion or lack of sexual relations for at least one year
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Habitual drug or alcohol abuse for at least one year
  • Confinement to a mental institution for at least two years
  • Imprisonment for at least 18 months
  • Deviant sexual conduct

Division of property in New Jersey
New Jersey is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50 but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. When dividing property the court will consider many factors including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Age
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse
  • Prenuptial or any other agreement between spouses
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Income and earning capacity including any damage to earning capacity caused by the marriage and the time and expense necessary to become self supporting at a level comparable to the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Contribution to the earning capacity of the other spouse
  • Contribution, up or down, to the value of the property
  • Contribution as a homemaker
  • Tax consequences
  • Value of the property
  • Child custody
  • Debts and liabilities
  • Known future medical or educational needs of spouse or children

Spousal support in New Jersey
In the State of New Jersey, spousal support may be permanent, rehabilitative, limited duration, or reimbursement. When determining spousal support, the court will consider many factors including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Need
  • Ability to pay
  • Age and physical and emotional health
  • Earning capacity and employability
  • Length of absence from the job market
  • Parental responsibilities
  • Time and expense necessary to become self supporting
  • Potential for future acquisition of assets and income
  • Contributions to marriage including child care and interruption of career or education
  • Property division
  • Income from investments
  • Tax consequences

Child custody and support in New Jersey
When determining child custody, in New Jersey, the court will consider many factors and must consider:

  • Physical, emotional, religious and everyday needs of the child
  • Wishes of the child if the court believes the child is old enough to express a preference

New Jersey uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in New Jersey, contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney today.

Click here to select from New Jersey divorce lawyers in your area.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in New Jersey and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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