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Getting a Divorce in New Jersey: Know the Law

Updated on December 4, 2014

Divorce in New Jersey

New Jersey has the lowest percentage of divorces among all US states, according to the 2011 American Community Survey. It really does not help to know that only 9% of New Jersey adults are divorced, when you and your spouse are about to end your marriage. If you are considering a divorce, a plethora of questions may arise in your mind. Read on to know what the New Jersey law says.

Know the Law
Know the Law

Each State has Different Laws

Irrespective of the state in which you are filing, the divorce settlement is required to be reviewed and approved by a judge. This is probably the only thing common in divorce laws across the states in the US. Bear in mind that every state has separate requirements to complete a divorce. This could range from the distribution of property to child custody and parenting time. So, it's important to understand the divorce laws in New Jersey before breaking up a marriage.

Choosing a Divorce Lawyer in New Jersey

According to an article in Huffington Post, it is essential to know what you want and remain focused on your ultimate goal when seeking the appropriate attorney to help you with the divorce proceedings. Apart from checking the credentials, it is a great idea to have an attorney who offers advice that has empathy and is compassionate. Seek an attorney with experience of a wide variety of divorce matters.


Causes of Divorce

According to New Jersey law, the following are valid causes for seeking a divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion: Spouse has been away, willfully and continuously for 12 months or more
  • Extreme cruelty: Includes physical and/or mental cruelty
  • Separation: The couple has been living separately for at least 18 consecutive months or more
  • Addiction: Includes voluntarily induced addiction, alcoholism and taking narcotic drugs
  • Institutionalization: For mental illness for 24 consecutive months or more
  • Imprisonment: For 18 consecutive months or more


According to New Jersey law, either of the spouses can be asked to pay alimony, for a predefined timeframe or for life, depending on the financial needs of the other. The court determines the amount taking into account the standard of living as well as earning capacities, education and employability of the spouses.


Property Division

Under New Jersey divorce law, marital property may not be divided equally. The court decides what is fair, considering various aspects that may include income of the husband and wife.

Child Custody

While parents can opt to amicably decide on custody and visitation, often this is not possible because of the bitterness that surrounds divorce. Here is when the court steps in and makes decisions based on the child’s best interests.


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