The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of New Jersey divorce.
Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.
|Residency Requirements ||In order to file for divorce you or your spouse must have be a resident for at least 1 year.|
|Where to File ||The papers for dissolution of marriage may be filed in any county.
|Grounds for Divorce ||Divorce from the bond of matrimony may be adjudged for the following causes heretofore or hereafter arising:
- Willful and continued desertion for the term of 12 or more months, which may be established by satisfactory proof that the parties have ceased to cohabit as man and wife
- Extreme cruelty, which is defined as including any physical or mental cruelty which endangers the safety or health of the plaintiff or makes it improper or unreasonable to expect the plaintiff to continue to cohabit with the defendant; provided that no complaint for divorce shall be filed until after 3 months from the date of the last act of cruelty complained of in the complaint, but this provision shall not be held to apply to any counterclaim
- Separation, provided that the husband and wife have lived separate and apart in different habitations for a period of at least 18 or more consecutive months and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation; provided, further that after the 18-month period there shall be a presumption that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation
- Voluntarily induced addiction or habituation to any narcotic drug or habitual drunkenness for a period of 12 or more consecutive months subsequent to marriage and next preceding the filing of the complaint;
- Institutionalization for mental illness for a period of 24 or more consecutive months subsequent to marriage and next preceding the filing of the complaint
- Imprisonment of the defendant for 18 or more consecutive months after marriage, provided that where the action is not commenced until after the defendant's release, the parties have not resumed cohabitation following such imprisonment
- Deviant sexual conduct voluntarily performed by the defendant without the consent of the plaintiff
|Voluntary or required mediation ||Yes|
|Voluntary or recommended Counseling||Yes|
|Property Distribution ||In all actions where a judgment of divorce or divorce from bed and board is entered the court may make such award or awards to the parties, in addition to alimony and maintenance, to effectuate an equitable distribution of the property, both real and personal, which was legally and beneficially acquired by them or either of them during the marriage. However, all such property, real, personal or otherwise, legally or beneficially acquired during the marriage by either party by way of gift, devise, or intestate succession shall not be subject to equitable distribution, except that interspousal gifts shall be subject to equitable distribution.
|Child Custody ||Custody is awarded with the best interests of the child or children in mind. The following factors are generally considered: the age and capacity of the child. |
|Child Support ||In determining the amount to be paid by a parent for support of the child and the period during which the duty of support is owed, the court in those cases not governed by court rule shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:
- Needs of the child
- Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent
- All sources of income and assets of each parent
- Earning ability of each parent, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, custodial responsibility for children including the cost of providing child care and the length of time and cost of each parent to obtain training or experience for appropriate employment
- Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education
- Age and health of the child and each parent
- Income, assets and earning ability of the child
- Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant
|Spousal Support ||In all actions brought for divorce, divorce from bed and board, or nullity the court may award one or more of the following types of alimony:permanent alimony; rehabilitative alimony; limited duration alimony or reimbursement alimony to either party. In so doing the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:
- The actual need and ability of the parties to pay
- The duration of the marriage
- The age, physical and emotional health of the parties
- The standard of living established in the marriage and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties
- The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance
- The parental responsibilities for the children
- The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income
- The history of the financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage by each party including contributions to the care and education of the children and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities
- The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income, to the extent this consideration is reasonable, just and fair
- The income available to either party through investment of any assets held by that party
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment
- Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.