Understanding “No Fault” Divorce

Categories: Divorce & Family Law

The process of divorcing can affect everyone in a family, from extended relatives to family friends. The collateral damage can be just as devastating as the divorce itself. The process of divorce can be lengthy, complicated, and emotional, so it stands to reason that most divorcing couples seek the least agonizing route. In New Jersey, this is called “No Fault” divorce, and it offers a fast track to the end of the financial and emotional stress of dissolving a marriage.

Irreconcilable Differences

In fault-based divorce, one spouse has allegedly cause the end of the relationship due to a form of misconduct, such as adultery, desertion, or abuse. However, the basis for the “No Fault” divorce is “irreconcilable differences.” This means quite simply that two spouses have reached the mutual decision that they are no longer compatible. They are ready and willing to carry on living separate lives. The following are requirements for filing:

* One of the two parties involved has been living in New Jersey for at least 12 months

* The couple has experienced irreconcilable differences for a minimum of six months

* There is no chance of reconciliation

* The couple must have lived separately for at least 18 months prior to filing

The Benefits of a “No Fault” Divorce

Pursuing a “No Fault” divorce provides many advantages. Perhaps the most important and longest-lasting is the emotional security afforded to any children involved. Fault-based divorces can become angry and public, forcing the children into the middle of a malevolent dispute. Keeping the legal atmosphere as amicable as possible can have an immensely protective quality over the well-being of the children.

Choosing a divorce based on irreconcilable differences rather than fault has financial benefits as well. Legal matters are typically settled entirely out of court, and “no fault” divorce proceedings take significantly less time than the average fault-based divorce. In addition to emotional benefits, a quicker, more amicable divorce generally translates into less cost.

Effect on Alimony and Property Distribution

With an official claim of “no fault,” any alleged misconduct will have no effect on alimony, or property distribution outcomes. For instance, suppose your spouse disappeared for an extended period of time (desertion). His or her choice to leave factored heavily into the end of the marriage. Yet for the sake of the children, you decide to pursue a “no fault” divorce. Consequently, the court cannot legally consider the misconduct of desertion when examining the distribution of property or alimony plans. Understanding this aspect of divorce law is important when examining your own personal situation.

Curtis J. Romanowski Knows New Jersey Divorce Law

Every divorce has unique considerations and exploring legal options may naturally lead to more questions. Curtis J. Romanowski and his team of compassionate, skilled family law attorneys have played pivotal roles in many divorce and custody cases in Middlesex County and the surrounding areas. With a reputation as a trustworthy, client-centered firm, Romanowski Law Offices will acknowledge your goals, protect your rights, and seek creative alternatives to enable a timely and healthy divorce process. Our focus is to guide you through your legal journey with professionalism, experience and compassion. Contact us today for a free consultation about your divorce.