What is a No-Fault and At-Fault Divorce?

Posted October 26th, 2016 by .

Categories: Family Law.

no-fault-divorce-anthony-carboneYou and your spouse are planning on getting divorce. However, you have no specific reasons for the divorce, other than you just don’t get along anymore. If this is the case, then you may want to consider going through a no-fault divorce. What does that mean? And why is it different than a fault-based divorce?

First, let’s explain what a no-fault divorce is in New Jersey. This is a fancy way of saying you are divorcing based on irreconcilable differences, which means you and your spouse can’t get along and there’s no chance of saving the marriage. It means that neither party did anything wrong which led to the divorce.

In order to file for a no-fault divorce, your case needs to meet the following conditions:

  • You and your spouse have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months before filing for divorce
  • You and your spouse have experienced irreconcilable difference for at least six months in the marriage
  • These difference caused your marriage to collapse
  • There’s no possibility of reconciliation

You can also base it on separation, as long as you show that you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 18 months and there’s no way to reconcile the marriage.

So how does this differ from an at-fault divorce? If the marriage ended because of a spouse’s misconduct, then you when ask for fault-based divorce. The fault grounds recognized in New Jersey are:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonments for at least one year
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug or alcohol abuse for a period of at least one year
  • Imprisonment for 18 or more consecutive months
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Institutionalization for mental illness for a period of 24 or more consecutive months

It’s important to note that New Jersey judges do not take misconduct into consideration when determining division of property; however, they can consider evidence of fault when deciding on alimony.

If you are planning on getting divorced in New Jersey, you need to hire an experienced attorney to walk you through the process. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone now for a free consultation.


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