For all divorcing couples, the process is a unique journey. That journey starts with the initial filings, including selecting grounds, or reason, for the divorce. This strikes many people as a very personal subject, and so many would rather not list the reason for their divorce in court documents.
Those who feel this way may want to list the grounds for their divorce as “irreconcilable differences.” New Jersey allows this type of grounds for what is known as a “no-fault” divorce.
No-fault divorce basics
Put simply, a no-fault divorce means the couple wants to divorce without claiming either partner did something wrong, or that one spouse was at fault for the dissolution of the relationship.
Conversely, fault grounds for divorce state one spouse is at fault for the divorce. Fault based grounds for divorce in New Jersey could include adultery, incarceration and domestic violence. To claim one of these as grounds for divorce, one party must provide evidence. This isn’t always easy to do, and it can make a divorce much more difficult and acrimonious.
Will filing a fault-based divorce help me financially for property division?
Probably not. Fault-based actions, like adultery, typically will not impact property division, but there are unique circumstances that could alter divorce settlements. You always have the option to reach a mutually agreeable settlement, if you do not want to leave your property up to a judge.
What do I need to provide if I select a fault ground for divorce?
Different states have different grounds for divorce. Usually, if you select a fault-based divorce, you must supply proof in support of your claim. Similarly, if you select a no-fault divorce, there is not a similar requirement of proof of the dissolution of the marriage.