The Ins and Outs of NJ Divorce Law

Passaic County NJ Divorce AttorneysMaking the ultimate decision to divorce can often be a difficult one, but once that decision is made, what is next? What kind of divorce will you pursue, and how will it be resolved? This is an important question, as there are several different options available to you in New Jersey. As always, consulting with an experienced Passaic County divorce attorney prior to making any decisions is highly recommended, as your attorney can provide you with specific recommendations to your unique situation, and potential issues that may arise during the divorce process. That being said, below we will outline the different options available to individuals wishing to divorce in New Jersey.

No-Fault Divorce Attorney Passaic County, NJ

One of the most important decisions you will have to make is what kind of divorce you wish to pursue, a no-fault divorce or a fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce is generally pursued when there are no specific grievances held against the other spouse, the marriage simply does not work anymore. In order to file for a no-fault divorce in New Jersey, you and your spouse must have lived in the state for 12 consecutive months before filing for the divorce, have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months, and there is no reasonable chance for reconciliation. Irreconcilable differences can be almost any difference you have with your spouse which makes you feel as if your marriage should end, and can even include the difference that you wish to divorce and your spouse does not.

No-Fault divorces can never be denied by the courts, but should your spouse answer your no-fault based divorce (we will discuss the concept of contested versus uncontested divorce later in the article), you will need to negotiate a divorce settlement between the parties before your divorce will be granted. Your divorce settlement agreement will decide key issues such as child custody, child support, division of assets, and alimony, and it is highly recommended that you retain the counsel of an experienced Clifton divorce attorney during this process to help you negotiate for the divorce settlement that best meets your unique needs and concerns. Once your divorce settlement agreement has been finalized, the courts will grant your request for a no-fault divorce.

Fault Based Divorce Lawyers Wayne, NJ

A fault-based divorce can be pursued when you believe your spouse’s misconduct has directly lead to your desire to divorce. Fault grounds for divorce in New Jersey are outlined in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2 and include:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment (at least 12 months)
  • Physical or Mental abuse which makes it unreasonable for you to continue to live with your spouse
  • Drug or Alcohol abuse by your spouse for at least 12 months.

Different from no-fault divorces, in order for a fault-based divorce to be granted, you and your Wayne divorce attorney will need to prove that the misconduct you are claiming took place. You and your attorney will need to gather evidence such as witness accounts, photos supporting your claim, police records, or any other relevant information in order to prove the misconduct to the court.

The main advantage of fault-based divorces, however, is the resulting alimony settlement. Should you prove successful in proving misconduct, you will be awarded a much greater alimony settlement based on the extent of the misconduct than in a no-fault divorce.

Contested versus Uncontested Divorce Clifton, NJ Family Law Attorneys

Once you have filed your initial petition for a divorce, be it no-fault or fault-based, your spouse has a certain amount of time to respond to your claim. Should they answer your divorce petition, your divorce will be considered “contested“, and you and your Clifton divorce attorney will begin negotiating for a final divorce settlement agreement, the document which will decide how all aspects of your divorce is to be settled including child custody, child support, asset and debt division, and alimony.

Should your spouse fail to answer your divorce petition however, your divorce will be considered “uncontested“, and the court itself will rule on your final divorce settlement agreement, typically in favor of the plaintiff who filed the initial divorce request.

Contact Our Passaic County Divorce Attorneys Today

Regardless of which type of divorce you choose to pursue, or if your divorce is contested or uncontested, retaining the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney can be of enourmous help when it comes to navigating the process, and securing the divorce settlement agreement that best meets your unique needs and concerns.

At The Law Office of The Montanari Law Group, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Wayne, Clifton, Little Falls, West Milford, and the greater Passaic County area to successfully resolve their divorces in an effective and timely manner.

Once in place, agreements regarding child custody, child support, property division, and alimony can be extremely difficult to change. This is why it is critical that you decide these issues in a manner that works for you at the time of your divorce, rather than afterwards when you realize that you might not have gotten the best deal. In order to ensure that your divorce settlement agreement best meets your needs both long-term and short-term, our attorneys will work closely with you to discover exactly what kind of settlement you are seeking, and advise you throughout the process when a proposed deal works for you, and when you should counter.

To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your unique needs and concerns in any divorce matter, please contact us online, or through our Little Falls, NJ office at (973) 233-4396.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.