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New Jersey Divorce Laws

Just as there are laws defining how each state defines a valid marriage, so too are there laws for divorce. States 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.

Read on to learn about divorce laws in the state of New Jersey.

New Jersey Divorce Laws

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. of the New Jersey Statutes

Residency Requirements

Either party was a bona fide resident of New Jersey at the time the cause of action arose

Waiting Period

Decree immediately final, pending any appeal

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Irreconcilable differences -- must be at least for 6 months and allege no possibility of reconciliation

Defenses to a Divorce Filing


Other Grounds for Divorce

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

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an 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. An attorney will be able to explain the laws surrounding divorce and what you may be entitled to.

Contact a New Jersey divorce lawyer today.

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