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New Jersey Divorce Laws

Just as there are laws defining how each state defines a valid marriage, states also have laws defining the legal requirements for divorce (which are referred to as “grounds” for divorce). All states now have some form of no-fault grounds for divorce, which means that neither party must shoulder the blame (or liability) for the break-up of the marriage in order to file for a divorce.

In New Jersey, divorce laws are similar to those in other states. For example, to file for a New Jersey divorce, generally at least one of the parties must be a New Jersey resident. To file for a no-fault divorce, the couple must be separated (living separately and apart) for at least 18 months before either party may file for divorce.

Learn more about New Jersey's divorce laws in the following chart. See FindLaw's Divorce section for a wide variety of articles and resources.

Code Section

2A:34 et seq.

Residency Requirements

Either party a bona fide resident of New Jersey at time cause of action arose and until commencement of action (except adultery, 1 yr. before action).

Waiting Period

Decree immediately final, pending any appeal.

'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Separation (18 months).

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

Abolished by §2A:34-7.

Other Grounds for Divorce

Adultery; cruelty or violence; desertion from 12 mos.; drug/alcohol addiction; insanity/mental illness (confined for 24 mos.); conviction of crime (imprisonment for at least 18 mos.); deviant sexual behavior without plaintiff's consent.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey divorce attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information regarding the legal grounds for divorce in New Jersey, please feel free to consult the links to additional resources listed below. You can also read up on some of the general issues that typically arise in these circumstances by checking out FindLaw’s section on divorce.

Research the Law

New Jersey Legal Requirements for Divorce: Related Resources

Confused About New Jersey's Divorce Laws? An Attorney Can Help

If you're either considering filing for divorce or have already been served with divorce papers, you'll likely want a legal professional's help. A New Jersey divorce lawyer will be able to explain the laws surrounding divorce, what you may be entitled to regarding child or spousal support, and property division.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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