What Do I Need to Know About New Jersey Grounds for Divorce?

Every divorce case is different from one another. The reason why one couple may want to divorce is not always the same as another couple. This reasoning must be stated at the start of the proceedings by citing “grounds” for divorce. Once spouses cite their grounds for the divorce, the proceedings can continue. During this time in a person’s life, it is important that they retain the services of an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for assistance. 

What Grounds Can be Cited?

Many people believe that when divorce is filed, it means that one party must be at fault for the end of the marriage. However, marriages can end on either fault or no-fault grounds. Either of these can be cited at the start of proceedings. When a spouse cites fault grounds, they are looking to hold their partner responsible for the end of their relationship. Actions that can justify fault grounds in New Jersey can include:

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

It is important to note that not all divorces are the fault of one spouse. Spouses sometimes believe their marriage can no longer work or be fixed. When this happens, no-fault grounds can be cited. This may be in the event of:

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

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

During divorce proceedings, spouses are required to determine the future of their marital issues. In the event that they cannot agree on these matters, it is known as a contested divorce. This is often seen in situations where fault grounds are cited, as these spouses usually have a hard time agreeing with one another. These cases may require the couple to divorce through litigation with the help of a judge to settle their marital issues for them.

On the other hand, spouses who can agree to the terms of their divorce can go through an uncontested divorce. This can be seen in situations of no-fault grounds. When this happens, the couple may not need to go through litigation. Instead, they can choose to participate in alternative methods such as mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce. These processes allow spouses to discuss their marital issues in a productive way to reach agreements.

Contact our Firm

Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a consultation.