Understanding Divorce Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey Divorce LawsNew Jersey Divorce, as is true with many legal matters, is complicated and cannot be summed up in a single article; however, we’re going to give you the basics of the dissolution of marriage in New Jersey. What we discuss here applies to civil unions, as well as registered domestic partners and should further your understanding of divorce laws in New Jersey.

What does New Jersey find acceptable as grounds for divorce?

Irreconcilable differences and/or living apart for at least 18 months is considered grounds for divorce in New Jersey. If your marriage is based on faulty grounds, there is adultery, extreme cruelty, desertion for over 1 year, drug or alcohol abuse or imprisonment for longer than 18 months, then New Jersey recognizes this as grounds for divorce.

What is the waiting period or residency requirement in New Jersey?

To petition for divorce, one spouse must have lived in New Jersey for no less than one year. The petition for divorce can be filed in any county in which either spouse lives. In New Jersey, there is no specific waiting period, as the judge can issue a decree of divorce at any time following a court hearing.

How is marital property divided according to New Jersey Divorce Laws?

Because New Jersey is considered an equitable distribution state, the objective is to divide the marital property equitably and fairly – this does not always mean equal, however. Marital property is defined as any property (which includes income) that is acquired during the marriage, either by your spouse or you. Separate property, such as inheritance or gifts, that was received during the marriage is not subject to division. To determine the proper division of marital property, the court will examine several factors, including individual contribution to income and property, length of marriage, current economic standing, and standards of living throughout the marriage.

How is alimony determined in a New Jersey divorce?

Dependent upon the financial needs of any particular spouse and the conditions of the petition for divorce, the court may find it reasonable to order a spouse to pay permanent or temporary alimony. Again, the court will examine several factors to determine if alimony is appropriate.

How is child support determined in a New Jersey divorce?

Parents are expected to financially support their children until the age of 18 or until high school graduation (whichever is the latter). The amount of child support is determined through the examination of combined parental income, needs of the child, parents earning ability, parent and child age, health of the parent and child and economic standing. The court reserves the right to order a single parent to pay for educational and medical expenses, including health insurance. The center for New Jersey Child Support will strictly enforce these obligations.

How is child custody determined by New Jersey divorce laws?

The child’s best interests are always first and foremost in a divorce proceeding. The court will thoroughly evaluate each parent’s ability to communicate with and address the child’s emotional, physical and educational needs. This includes a close examination of the child’s relationship with siblings and parents, as well as the stability of the home.

New Jersey Family Law

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From Divorce to Prenuptial agreements, our attorneys at Castronovo & McKinney have experience with all types of New Jersey Family Law. Our goal is to serve our fellow New Jersey residents with the best possible legal representation for their family law needs.