What Are Fault Grounds for Divorce?

Divorce is a legal action and thus has certain standards that must be met for the action to be granted by the court. Grounds for divorce are legally acceptable reasons for divorce. A spouse must have a valid ground for divorce to request it from the court. There are both no-fault and fault grounds for divorce. Many couples chose to file based on no-fault grounds because the process is a little easier. Fault grounds are sometimes necessary, however, when the specific ground has the potential to affect other areas of the case, such as child custody.

Fault grounds are a little more complicated because the petitioner must prove them to the court. Fault grounds for divorce in New Jersey include:

  • Adultery (cheating)
  • Abandonment
  • Extreme Cruelty
  • Separation
  • Drug Addiction or Habitual Drunkenness
  • Institutionalization for Mental Illness
  • Imprisonment, and
  • Deviant Sexual Conduct

Each of these grounds has specific circumstances under which they are valid. If you want to file for divorce on any of these grounds, you need to speak with an attorney about these guidelines.

In divorces filed on fault grounds, one spouse must be at fault, and the petitioner (the person who files for the divorce) must provide evidence to establish the ground. This can be difficult depending on the ground. If you are filing for divorce on a fault ground, you need to speak with an experienced matrimonial attorney. It may be in your best interest to file for divorce on a fault ground, but you will need help establishing the ground.

Conversely, you can file for divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences, which is a no-fault ground. Even in this case, you must demonstrate that you and your spouse have had irreconcilable differences for at least six months, that those differences make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. If both you and your spouse affirm that these are correct, you can simply submit a signed statement.

Consult with an experienced New Jersey matrimonial attorney if you are thinking of filing for divorce. Whether you want to file on a fault or no-fault ground, you can benefit from an attorney who will advise you of your rights and walk you through the divorce process step by step.

Do you need to file for divorce in New Jersey? If so, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you through the divorce process step by step. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8366, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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