No Fault Divorces Defined:
A no fault divorce refers to any divorce where the spouse requesting divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something irrevocably wrong to ruin the marriage. All states in the U.S. allow for the filing of a no fault divorce.
To file a no fault divorce, a spouse must simply state a reason for the filing that is formally recognized by the state. In the majority of states, it is sufficient to declare that the couple simply cannot get along (filed formally as “irreconcilable differences”, “irremediable breakdown of the marriage” or “incompatibility”). In some jurisdictions; however, the couple is required to live apart for a certain time period before they are allowed to file for a no fault divorce.
In summation, a no-fault divorce is dissolution of marriage that requires neither a showing of poor behavior of either spouse nor the undertaking of any legal proceedings. Statutes providing for no-fault divorces permit family courts to grant a divorce in response to a complaint by either spouse, without requiring a spouse to provide evidence that the responding party has violated marital contract.
No Fault Divorces in New Jersey:
On January 20th of 2007, Governor John Corzine signed into a law a change to New Jersey’s divorce statute, allowing for irreconcilable differences as a ground to divorce. Before this law, most divorce filings were based on either extreme cruelty or separation. However, the ground for cruelty mandates one spouse to accuse the other of acts of cruel behavior, whereas the no-fault alternative requires the spouses to live separately and apart for a minimum of 18 months until a divorce complaint can be filed. This new law allowed for a true form of New Jersey no fault divorce due to irreconcilable differences. This marital problem must ultimately cause a breakdown of the marriage for a minimum of six months.
The New Jersey no fault divorce law has no separation requirement. This means that the spouses can file for divorce even if they are still living together. Because of this provision, the new law may be appropriate for specific situations, such as when the couple simply grows apart and wishes to terminate their bond but still wish to reside together until the divorce is affirmed. The new law also eliminates the need to allege any wrongdoings carried-out by a spouse.
Legal Requirements to File for a No Fault New Jersey Divorce:
To file for a New Jersey No Fault Divorce the following requirements must be satisfied:
• One or both spouses must have lived in the state of New Jersey for at least 12 consecutive months before filing the divorce papers
• One or both spouses must have experienced irreconcilable differences for a minimum period of six months.
• The grounds for irreconcilable differences will not require that one spouse pledge specific accusations or allegations against the other.
Legal Impact of the New Jersey Divorce Law:
The legal impact of the No Fault New Jersey Divorce law is that spouses are free to file for divorce without the need to blame marital fault on a spouse. The New Jersey No Fault Divorce law removes some of the stress and animosity that is typically attached to divorce filings. That being said, the new law does not replace traditional grounds for divorce including: desertion, extreme cruelty or divorce.
If you and your spouse thinking of filing a divorce petition, the new law makes the process a little easier. When neither you nor your spouse has to blame the other for causing the divorce, a No Fault New Jersey Divorce may reduce the level of conflict in the litigation.
The bulk of New Jersey divorces end with a negotiated settlement. The spouses in these situations strive to reach settlements that are affirmed in their marital contract (property settlement agreement.) It is typically very expensive to undergo divorce litigation. The cases are never continuously handled and there are seemingly endless adjournments. Moreover, the waiting time that the litigants are forced to undergo is insufferable. These undesirable traits are mixed-in with the invariable lawyer fees and court costs that you must satisfy. Therefore, it is crucial to set a peaceful tone in a divorce complaint and do your best to negotiate all issues regarding separation of custody issues, property, assets, debts etc.
Irreconcilable differences do not replace the other suitable grounds for a divorce filing in the state of New Jersey. The other major grounds for divorce in the state of New Jersey are based on adultery and extreme cruelty. Other grounds for divorce include: continued and willful desertion for the term of 1 year; 18-month physical separation; voluntarily induced addiction; mental illness; deviant sexual conduct; imprisonment for 18 or more consecutive months.
The new No Fault New Jersey divorce law does not relieve the parties of the state’s residency requirements. Except for those cases filed on the grounds of adultery, one of the spouses is required to have resided in the state of New Jersey for at least one year before the filing of the complaint.