The Burden of Proof as a Way to Protect Your Rights in Divorce

Matrimonial Attorneys Explain the Burden of Proof and Its Potential Impact on Divorces in Wayne, Hackensack, Essex Fells, and Other New Jersey Communities

The process of divorce in New Jersey is often complex. Regardless of whether spouses who are separating get along, there are diverse issues to work through on the way to legally dissolving the marital union. Even in no-contest divorces in which irreconcilable differences are the formal reason for the split, spouses may bring grievances against one another during the divorce process. Such allegations can affect the outcome of the divorce ruling. In order for someone to accuse their spouse of something in a divorce, they must satisfy the burden of proof. If you are in the process of divorce in New Jersey, you need to have a full understanding of the burden of proof, its relevance to your case, and how an experienced family law attorney can use this concept to protect your rights and interests. Contact Montanari Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss your divorce.

Understanding the Burden of Proof in NJ Divorce Proceedings

The burden of proof in the realm of divorce refers to the evidence required to demonstrate that an accusation against one’s spouse is justified. Such allegations would affect the judge’s rulings on different elements of the divorce order, such as the division of assets, child custody, etc. In a divorce proceeding, the party alleging an issue must provide a “preponderance of evidence,” meaning that the accusation must be backed up with evidence demonstrating a 51 percent chance of validity for it to be actionable by the judge.

The burden of proof in a civil divorce case differs from that required in a criminal case. The “preponderance of evidence,” or majority proof, required in a civil case is less than that required to prove guilt in a criminal case. In a criminal case, a prosecutor must determine guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, greatly overwhelming opposing evidence. On the other hand, in a divorce case, the alleging spouse must only prove 51 percent validity of the claim.

Evidentiary Responsibilities in NJ Divorce Proceedings

In a divorce case, the spouse alleging misconduct carries the burden of proof. They must provide substantial evidence to convince the judge that there is validity to their claim. The spouse on the receiving end of the allegation has the legal right to defend themselves by providing evidence and testimony against the claim.

Divorce Allegations Must Meet the “More Likely than Not” Standard

The types of evidence provided to prove spousal misconduct will differ based on the nature of the allegation. For example, allegations of financial impropriety will bring different evidence than allegations of marital impropriety. Some common types of evidence admissible in court include financial statements, receipts, police reports, emails, and text communication. Witness testimony is also admissible in court, including from the alleging spouse themselves. Any documented evidence related to a spouse’s allegation should be gathered. An experienced divorce attorney will help the alleging spouse determine what documentation is needed to provide a preponderance of evidence of their allegation, as well as what types of evidence will be admissible in court.

Burden of Proof in Divorce Proceedings Explained by Our Skilled Attorneys in Passaic County, NJWhile legal and financial documents, as well as evidence of communication such as emails and texts, generally provide the most bulletproof evidence for proving an allegation, sometimes physical evidence is difficult to come by. For this reason, witness testimony, including that of the alleging spouse themselves, is often one of the most utilized forms of evidence in a divorce case.

Use The Burden of Proof to Your Advantage with Help from our Divorce Attorneys in Little Falls NJ

When it comes to proving an allegation against your spouse with a preponderance of evidence necessary to convince the family court judge that your spouse was in the wrong, you need the qualified support of a divorce attorney prepared to help you gather the necessary evidence for your claim. Because the types of evidence that can be used vary so widely, your attorney will help you build the strongest case using the most convincing and diverse permissible evidence available to support your allegation.

Our family law team at Montanari Law Group has successfully represented countless divorcees in towns like Haledon, Woodland Park, Ringwood, Montclair, Totowa, Hoboken, Hackensack, and Clifton in Passaic County, Bergen County, Hudson County, and Essex County, ensuring that they receive their full share in a divorce and that their children are safely and soundly cared for moving forward. Contact us today at (973) 233-4396 or reach us online for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your divorce and any allegations involved.


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.