Divorce FAQs for New Jersey
Most people in the midst of a separation, divorce, or annulment have a number of questions about their rights and responsibilities under New Jersey divorce law. Matters such as alimony and paternity issues can dramatically complicate even seemingly simple divorce proceedings, while battered women and other victims of domestic violence often need support and guidance while they reestablish their independence. On this page, East Brunswick, New Jersey divorce lawyer Frank Tournour offers brief answers to divorce FAQs.
How long must I or my spouse have lived in New Jersey prior to filing for divorce in a New Jersey court?
Either you or your spouse must have resided in New Jersey for at least one year before filing for divorce.
What are the grounds for divorce in New Jersey?
New Jersey law allows two grounds for “no-fault” divorces:
- The two parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 18 consecutive months
- Irreconcilable differences that have caused the breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation
The “fault” grounds upon which a divorce may be obtained are as follows:
- Willful and continued desertion for one year
- Extreme cruelty
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Institutionalization due to mental illness for two or more years
- Imprisonment for 18 months or more
- Deviant sexual behavior
What are the New Jersey property division rules for divorce?
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court’s division of property and debts should be fair and equitable, but will not necessarily be equal.
What are the differences between child custody, visitation, and child support?
Child custody refers to which parent will have legal custody of the child or children; that is, the parent with custody is the parent with whom the child or children will live.
Visitation refers to the non-custodial parent’s ability to visit with and spend time with the child or children. In New Jersey, grandparents may also secure visitation rights.
Child support refers to the financial obligation of a parent to support their child, and usually consists of money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent in order to fulfill this obligation. Read answers to some frequently asked questions about child support.
Is there an alternative to litigation in divorce cases?
Yes. Mediation offers a potentially quicker and far less costly alternative to often protracted and emotionally charged divorce litigation.
A collaborative divorce is another option. In a collaborative divorce, both parties and their attorneys commit to resolving their differences fairly, without the threat of taking one another to court. A team of experts including an accountant, a child specialist, mental health professionals, and financial planners may assist in the collaborative divorce process.