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How familiar are you with no-fault divorce?

Perhaps more than any other month, January is the time in which people are most apt to engage in some manner of introspection relating to the state of their marriage and, by extension, the possibility of divorce.

While much of this phenomenon can be attributed to the idea of pursuing a new start in a new year, at least some of it can also be attributed to the fact that the holiday season is now firmly in the rearview mirror, such that there is now more time and fewer sentimental distractions.

If a person does indeed arrive at the determination that they want to pursue a divorce after careful deliberation, it's only natural that they would want to move forward with what will undoubtedly turn out to be a difficult process as soon as possible. To that end, they may have questions about no-fault divorce.

What exactly is no-fault divorce and why is it preferred by so many?

A no-fault divorce is essentially one in which the law does not require a spouse to prove that grounds exist for the divorce (desertion, extreme cruelty, incarceration, etc.). In other words, they don't have to present evidence demonstrating that the spouse from whom they are seeking a divorce is responsible for the end of the marriage.

Is there only one type of no-fault divorce here in New Jersey?

There are actually two types of no-fault divorce in New Jersey, one based on separation and one based on irreconcilable differences.

What are the requirements for each type of no-fault divorce?

In order to secure a no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences, the following elements will need to be satisfied:

  • At least one spouse must have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months prior to the filing of the divorce petition
  • The spouses must have had irreconcilable differences for a minimum of six months and these irreconcilable differences create the appearance that the marriage should be dissolved
  • The spouses have no reasonable prospect of reconciliation

In order to secure a no-fault divorce based on separation, the following elements will need to be satisfied:

  • At least one spouse must have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months prior to the filing of the divorce petition
  • The spouses must have lived in separate residences for a minimum of 18 months before initiating the divorce process
  • The spouses have no reasonable prospect of reconciliation

We'll continue this discussion in a future post. In the meantime, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you would like to learn more about the divorce process.

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