Know the Laws: New Jersey
UPDATED June 8, 2012
Basic information about divorce in New Jersey.
You can file for divorce in NJ based on any of the following grounds (reasons):
a. Adultery - when your spouse cheats on you
b. Abandonment - when your spouse left your house for 12 months or more..
c. Extreme cruelty - when your spouse treated you in a way that endangered your life or health or made it unbearable for you to live with him(such as physical or mental cruelty). (Note: If you are filing for divorce based on this, you have to wait at least 3 months after the last incident of cruelty. If you are including this ground in your counter-claim to your husband’s divorce petition, you do NOT have to wait those 3 months; you can include this ground even if the last cruel incident happened yesterday.)
d. Separation – when you and your spouse don’t live together anymore in the same house for a term of at least 18 consecutive months or more and there is no reasonable belief of reconciliation between you both.
e. Addiction to drugs or habitual drunkenness for a period of 12 or more consecutive months after marriage and prior to filing for divorce.
f. Institutionalization for mental illness for a period of 24 or more consecutive months after marriage and prior to filing for divorce.
g. Imprisonment - Your spouse was sentenced to go to jail for 18 or more consecutive months after marriage. If you file for divorce after your spouse has been released from jail, you also have to show that you and your husband have not lived together after he was released from jail.
h. If your spouse perform a sexual act on you without your consent (such as raping you).
i. Irreconcilable differences – When there has been a breakdown of the marriage based on a failure to get along for a period of six months or more and there is no reasonable belief of reconciliation.*
* N.J.S.A. § 2A:34-2
While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps:
In order to file for a divorce in New Jersey, either spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. The only exception to the one-year residency requirement is when the grounds for divorce are for adultery. In cases of adultery, the requirement is that at least one spouse must be a New Jersey resident for any amount of time, which can be less than 1 year.*
* N.J.S.A. § 2A:34-10
WomensLaw.org has no relationship with these organizations and does not endorse their services. We provide these links for your information only.The following links may provide helpful information.
New Jersey Judiciary
Information on divorce in NJ and link to online divorce court forms.
Divorce Support - New Jersey
Provides a professional directory of divorce lawyers, mediators, counselors, financial planners and other divorce professionals as well as articles on child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and property and debt division. You will also find access to other state specific resources, products and services.
New Jersey Divorce Legal Information Center
A resource on divorce and family law in the State of NJ for non-lawyers and pro se litigants.