What is the Difference Between Fault and No-Fault Grounds in the State of New Jersey?

If you are seeking a divorce, then there are several things you need to know. The divorce process is oftentimes both long and complicated, so it is best you are fully prepared before diving in. If you believe your marriage is irretrievably broken down, then it may be time for you to read on. While the process is a stressful one, with the help of an attorney and a bit of self-education, you may help minimize its impact. 

Is there more than one way to state your grounds for divorce?

In short, yes, there is. When you file for a divorce in the state of New Jersey, you can either file for a “no-fault” divorce, or you may choose to cite fault grounds. Essentially, by filing for a no-fault divorce, your spouse cannot contest your desire or motives for divorce. By citing fault grounds, you give your spouse a chance to respond and protest the divorce or its terms. There are several benefits to a no-fault divorce, and it may be the first step in diffusing at least some of the tension between you and your spouse. 

What are some examples of fault grounds that I could cite?

If you wish to cite fault grounds in your divorce, there are several factors that would qualify. Below is a list of the different fault grounds you may cite:

  • Desertion
  • Adultery
  • Substance abuse
  • Deviant sexual conduct
  • Imprisonment 
  • Institutionalization 
  • Extreme cruelty

These are all valid reasons to file for divorce, and nobody is questioning that. However, you may be putting your terms for divorce on the line by doing so. If you are a victim of domestic or sexual abuse, it is extremely important you contact the proper authorities and seek the help you need. However, by taking these complaints to the court during the divorce process, you may end up hurting yourself legally. It should also be noted that with little exception, citing grounds for divorce has little to no impact on the terms reached. Therefore, by citing fault grounds, there is a good chance you will draw out the process, shell out more money, and do it all for nothing. The most important thing you can do when seeking a divorce is to discuss your plan of action with a compassionate attorney who knows the ins and outs of the divorce process. Divorce can be complicated, but a knowledgable attorney can help.

Contact our New Jersey firm

The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.