New Jersey is considered a "no-fault" state, but allows both no-fault and fault divorce. This means that with each divorce comes a decision: whether to file for no-fault or fault based divorce. At its core, this distinction comes from the grounds for your divorce, but there may be far reaching consequences based on your decision. Divorce settlement agreements commonly carry terms for complex legal issues including child support, child custody, the division of marital assets, alimony, and much more. It is important to understand how your initial divorce paperwork may have a material impact on these issues down the road.
To demonstrate why fault divorce may be a great choice for some individuals, our divorce attorneys will discuss the differences between no-fault and fault divorce, and some of the advantages of choosing fault divorce in New Jersey.
No-fault vs. Fault Divorce: Harding, NJ Divorce Attorneys
Each divorce in New Jersey must be categorized as either no-fault or fault. There are a litany of differences between the two filings, and our Harding, NJ divorce attorneys believe that the best decision depends heavily on the nature of your circumstances.
Fault divorce may be sought on the grounds of "wrongdoing" by a spouse including adultery, substance abuse, domestic violence, willful desertion, extreme cruelty and more. For additional details, see N.J.S.A. Section 2A:34-2 or speak to a qualified divorce attorney. Fault divorce may be more difficult to prove in a court of law as it requires concrete evidence of wrongdoing.
No-fault divorce may be granted based on either a residential and/or legal separation for 18 or more consecutive months OR irreconcilable differences. No-fault divorce does not require proving misconduct in any way, and citing irreconcilable differences is very rarely disputed by the NJ family courts. Spouses who are on good terms, co-parents, and many other families find no-fault divorce to be the best choice.
Advantages of Fault Divorce in Morris County
So why seek fault divorce? Our Morris Count divorce lawyers understand that there are three primary reasons our clients choose fault based divorce:
Alimony considerations - The primary advantage of seeking fault divorce in New Jersey is an upper hand when it comes to alimony. Judges and mediators will often award greater or lesser alimony (or eliminate it altogether) based on the grounds for divorce. Each case is considered independently, and working with a qualified attorney can make a huge difference.
Child custody considerations - it is important to note that grounds for divorce in and of itself will NOT have a direct impact on child custody cases. However, through proving your grounds for divorce, you may also be able to show that your co-parent is unfit or dangerous to your child. Examples include a co-parent with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse.
Full and accurate grounds for divorce - This reason may be personal, but divorce and family law often is. However, our Morris County divorce lawyers advise caution when making a legal decision for personal reasons which may not be the best legal and practical choice
Considering Fault Divorce? Contact our Morristown, NJ Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Today
At Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, our legal team has decades of experience seeking both fault and no-fault divorce for clients from local Morris County communities including Morris Plains, Harding, Chester, Morristown, Mendham, Chatham, and across Northern New Jersey. Our attorneys take the time to understand our clients' individual needs and concerns, and offer a wide range of legal services to accommodate your unique situation. This attention to detail and personalized service has earned us a stellar reputation as one of the distinguished family law firms in Northern New Jersey.
To learn more about your options for no-fault or fault divorce, please contact us online or call our Morristown, NJ offices today at 973-975-4043 for a free and confidential consultation.