People know how to get divorced: find a lawyer, and file for divorce. But laws require certain grounds to be met before a divorce can be granted. If a spouse wants to get divorced, they need to have a reason.
But when an at-fault divorce filing occurs, there are 8 total grounds that may be met:
- Adultery: If your spouse has committed adultery, you can file for divorce. Proof will need to be provided that can show adultery has been committed. The hardest part of proving adultery is being able to prove, without a doubt, your spouse cheated on you.
- Desertion: A spouse can file for divorce on the grounds of desertion. Willful and continual desertion must occur for a period of 12 or more months. This will satisfy the court that the couple is no longer man or wife.
- Separation: Slightly different than desertion. Separation requires partners to remain separated for a period of at least 18 months.
- Extreme Cruelty: Mental or physical cruelty that endangers a spouse or endangers their health. The cruelty must be such that the spouses cannot live together safely. The one caveat is that a divorce complaint must be filed within a three-month period of the cruelty occurring.
- Institutionalization: Divorce can be granted on the grounds of a spouse being institutionalized for a mental illness. Institutionalization must last for a period of 24 months or more.
- Imprisonment: A spouse that is imprisoned may be grounds for divorce. The defendant must be imprisoned for a period of 18 or more months. Spouses cannot cohabit after the release of the defendant, and filing must occur following the release of the spouse.
- Voluntary Induced Addiction: Another difficult scenario. Under a voluntary induced addiction, a spouse must prove that their partner is addicted to narcotics. If the addict is an alcoholic, proof must be given that drunkenness has occurred for a 12-month consecutive period or longer.
- Deviant Sexual Conduct: The plaintiff can file for an at-fault divorce if deviant sexual conduct has occurred without the consent of the plaintiff. This, too, will be a lengthy divorce proceeding that can be difficult to prove.
A New Jersey divorce lawyer is highly recommended for any divorce proceeding. In the majority of cases, it’s much easier to file a no-fault divorce because the fault doesn’t lie with either party solely.
If you do choose to file an at-fault divorce, there must be proof provided to back up your claim to move forward with the divorce. In rare cases, the defendant will admit to the guilt and the proceedings will move along, but this is not the norm.
The advice and representation of a lawyer that is able to navigate New Jersey’s divorce laws is the best course of action. Self-representation can lead to the divorce being denied. Your spouse will also have the right to legal representation regardless of the type of divorce filed.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has a special expertise in working with high asset divorce. You can read more on this topic by visiting our divorce blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.