Understanding Divorce in New Jersey
If you in a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership, you can file for divorce in New Jersey. To file for divorce in New Jersey, one of the two parties involved must be a resident of New Jersey at the time of filing. Though it is possible to file for divorce on your own, this is not recommended. The New Jersey court system suggests that you work with an attorney.
New Jersey has both fault-based and no-fault divorce. To file for a no-fault divorce, you and your former spouse will have to be separated for 18 months, and the grounds are based on separation. You may also file for a no-fault divorce on the grounds of experiencing irreconcilable differences for a period of six or more months. A fault-based divorce may be sought on a few grounds, including desertion, extreme cruelty, adultery, habitual drunkenness, and incarceration.
Once you have worked with your lawyer to determine what grounds you will file for divorce under, you will need to consider what level of divorce you want to pursue.
When a couple decides to end their relationship in New Jersey legally, they may take three routes:
- Separation agreement
- Divorce from bed and board
- Full divorce
Working with a knowledgeable lawyer is important when you are considering divorce or separation. A skilled attorney familiar with how divorce cases are handled in New Jersey can help you determine what route is best for you and your family. DeTommaso Law Group is highly qualified to handle all types of divorce cases, and we are passionate about helping families through these challenging times.
Please explore our website to learn more about the divorce process in New Jersey.
What Is Divorce from Bed & Board?
Divorce from bed and board is a type of limited divorce. Effectively, it is a type of legal separation in which a couple terminates their financial relationship. During the divorce proceedings, all marital property is divided. After a divorce from bed and board, any property or assets acquired are now considered separate property.
Because New Jersey does not have an official legal separation option for married couples, divorce from bed and board offers couples a legal alternative to a full divorce. The grounds for a divorce from bed and board are the same as those for a full divorce. To file for a divorce from bed and board, both partners must petition the courts.
Why Might a Couple Go This Route?
Divorce from bed and board is beneficial for couples for whom a full divorce is not possible. Common reasons why someone might seek a divorce from bed and board include religious restrictions on divorce, health insurance needs, or access to government or retirement benefits. Some couples also find this a more attractive option when they have been in a long-term marriage and have no desire to remarry. Furthermore, a divorce from bed and board leaves open a smoother path to reconciliation. When this happens, a couple can file to have the judgment of divorce from bed and board revoked.
What Are the Limitations of this Type of Divorce?
With this type of divorce, the couple is still technically married. This means that they cannot remarry until they have received a full or absolute divorce. Additionally, because divorce from bed and board severs the couple's financial relationship, the other cannot make claims against their former spouse's estate if one person dies.
Determining if a Divorce from Bed & Board Is Right for You
While there are many reasons why a divorce from bed and board might be attractive to you, before proceeding with this option, you should speak with your lawyer to ensure that it is in your best interest to do so. If being unsure as to whether you want to go through with an absolute divorce is why you are considering a divorce from bed and board, you may be better served to establish a separation agreement instead. You can always revisit the idea of a full divorce later. Like ours at DeTommaso Law Group, an experienced attorney can examine your situation and use their knowledge and experience to guide you.