With the initial paperwork, you have to decide the grounds for divorce. New Jersey is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. That means that the reason you are getting divorced does not have an impact on the outcome of the divorce. For example, you do not have to pay more in alimony because you had an affair. And you do not get more alimony because your spouse had an affair. However, when you get divorced you do have to give a reason to the courts why you want to get divorced.
There are two no-fault reasons in New Jersey- irreconcilable differences for at least six months and physically separated in different residences with no sexual relations with one another for a minimum of 18 months. Almost all our clients at Westfield Mediation, LLC, pick irreconcilable differences as their grounds for divorce, even if they can prove one of the fault reasons (adultery, mental or physical cruelty, drug habituation, etc.). Most people choose irreconcilable differences because it is the path of least resistance. If you pick a fault reason in a divorce then you must supply additional evidence to support your claim. You can’t go around and accuse someone of having affairs or abusing drugs and tarnish a good reputation because you are mad at your spouse for wanting a divorce. There must be supporting proof. And since New Jersey is a no-fault state many people don’t want to bother going through the extra steps it takes for a fault divorce versus a no-fault divorce. Of course, you always have that option.
For more information about Divorce Mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M.Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org