The process of divorce is emotional and overwhelming. Nobody expects to end a marriage, and when it happens, it shakes up your entire world.

Suddenly, you are faced with uncertainty: Where am I going to live? What happens to our children? Can I financially support myself alone? What happens to all our stuff?

Divorce law varies by state. Understanding the rules governing divorce in New Jersey will help you navigate the process with confidence and peace of mind.

Residency Requirements for Divorce in New Jersey

To file for divorce, at least one spouse must be a New Jersey resident for 12 consecutive months. If the reason for divorce is adultery, the 12-month residency minimum is waived.

Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey

When determining grounds for divorce, there are two categories: no-fault, and fault-based.

No-fault grounds for divorce include:

  • Irreconcilable differences which have caused a breakdown in the marriage for six months
  • Living separately for at least 18 months with no chance of reconciliation

Fault-based grounds for divorce include:

  • Adultery
  • Willful desertion for 12 months
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Institutionalism for mental illness for 24 months after the marriage and before filing
  • Imprisonment for 18 months (provided there is no cohabitation after release)
  • Deviant sexual conduct

This strategic decision is best made after a conversation with your divorce attorney. Arons & Solomon provides free consultations to discuss the individual facts of your case, and determine what approach works best for your priorities.

To schedule your free consultation, call: (201) 487-1199 or send us a message.

Avoid Early Mistakes

New Jersey divorce proceedings legally begin with a document called the Complaint for Divorce. However, impulsive decisions made in the early stages of a separation or divorce can lead to mistakes that hurt your final settlement.

Don’t sabotage yourself before you get started. Consult this list of essential pre-divorce tips before taking any major action.

Establish Your Priorities

Divorce is a time of negotiation and compromise. Start envisioning your post-divorce life. Where do you live? How often do you see your children? Is there a spousal support arrangement? Who gets the dog?

Make a list of your must-have priorities, and the other details on which you are willing to compromise. This list will serve as a starting point for your divorce lawyer to help manage expectations, and get the settlement you deserve.

Hire a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer

New Jersey divorce law is constantly changing. Skip the general law practices, and hire a lawyer who is exclusively focused on divorce and family law.

(Read more: How to Select the Right Divorce Lawyer in New Jersey)

Established divorce lawyers have a relationship with family court judges and colleagues in the area, and access to a network of key professionals, including: financial planners, private investigators, forensic accountants, mental health counselors, process servers and more.

Divorce is a life-changing event. You’re going to want a specialist.