In New Jersey, the causes of action for a no-fault divorce are either irreconcilable differences or separation (living apart for at least 18 months). This is much more benign than the grounds for fault divorce, which include addiction, adultery, extreme cruelty, mental illness, imprisonment, or deviant sexual conduct.
Most New Jersey divorces are no-fault, likely because of the following benefits for divorcing couples and their children:
Less contentious. Divorce is hard enough without having to start out on a contentious note, which usually leads to a more difficult divorce process and co-parenting difficulties. By filing as no-fault, you set a more amicable tone for your divorce from the outset.
Easier on children. Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is stressful for children. Blaming one parent for the end of the marriage increases the odds that children will have split loyalties, and may even alienate children permanently from one parent.
Less costly. Having to prove fault in a divorce usually leads to litigation, which is more expensive and a lot more stressful than trying to settle your differences outside the courtroom, either through mediation or another alternative. A no-fault divorce action does not automatically preclude the chance you may wind up in court, but chances are much better that you will eventually be able to work things out in private.
Keeps focus on what is important. Rather than spending time and money to blame your spouse for destroying the marriage — which doesn’t change anything in the past — you will be much better off focusing your time and effort on a settlement agreement that meets your needs.
Privacy. Most no-fault divorces are handled outside the courtroom, which helps ensure that your private business does not become public. By sharing the responsibility for the end of the marriage, you can stop your divorce from becoming the subject of gossip and eliminate a lot of the potential turmoil that a divorce based on fault provokes.
We know that family law issues are often difficult, life-changing events. We also know how much it helps to have knowledgeable legal advocates on your side to help you obtain the best possible outcome. Contact us today for your free consultation.