Fault-Based Divorce

Fault-Based Divorce

Fault Divorce Attorneys Bergen County, NJ

Determining Fault Grounds For Divorce in NJ

“Fault Divorce” is a type of divorce recognized in the state of New Jersey, which involves one spouse proving that the other provided valid fault grounds for divorce. While “no-fault” divorces are much more common, there are still certain advantages a fault-based divorce can offer to aggrieved parties.

However, it is highly recommended that you retain the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney. Since, “fault” will need to be demonstrated in order for the divorce to be granted, not only will your attorney be able to help you ensure your divorce agreements of child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division are fair to you and take your unique needs and concerns into account, they will also help you prove, or disprove, that certain fault actions occurred.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law and divorce attorneys have over 75 years of combined legal experience and have successfully represented many clients in no-fault and fault-based divorces alike. We believe in treating each of our clients with respect and compassion, allowing them to feel comfortable to discuss the many difficult personal matters than can arise during a fault-based divorce.

Call our office to discuss your unique needs and concerns when it comes to your divorce in a free and confidential consultation with our legal team today.

Fault Grounds for Divorce in NJ

Unlike no-fault divorce, fault-based divorces do not need to show irreconcilable differences between the parties, or that the parties have lived separately for a set period of time. However, for a fault divorce to be granted, the plaintiff (the person filing for the divorce) will need to prove that one of seven specific grounds for a fault-based divorce in New Jersey is true in their situation. You may cite the following fault grounds:

  • Adultery
  • Desertion
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Narcotics addiction or alcoholism
  • Imprisonment
  • Deviant Sexual Misconduct
  • Institutionalization due to mental illness

Rather obviously, there is not much grey area for adultery, desertion, imprisonment, or institutionalization due to mental illness. However, the burden of proof is still on the filing party, so gathering and presenting concrete evidence becomes extremely important.

Extreme cruelty is the most commonly cited cause for fault-based divorce in New Jersey. This is a much more vague term that can cover a litany of behavior including intentionally embarrassing behavior, fraudulent activity, physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, threatening violence, and many more.

If you are unsure you have the legal grounds to file for fault-based divorce in Bergen County, contact our divorce attorneys today for insight into your individual case.

Comparing “Fault” and “No-Fault” Divorce Settlements

Importantly,  the equitable distribution process in fault divorces and no-fault divorces are similar, and regardless of the type of divorce being pursued, all marital assets will be divided “equitably.”

However, if any of the grounds for divorce such as narcotics addiction or alcoholism are destructive in nature, the plaintiff may seek compensation for these damages as part of their alimony agreement. This damages component is the primary reason individuals choose to pursue fault divorces over no-fault divorces when the situation allows it.

However, you should also keep in mind that the primary disadvantage to fault-based divorces is that, if sufficient evidence of fault is not demonstrated, the divorce can and most likely will be denied by the courts. Compared to no-fault divorces, which in general are almost never denied, choosing a fault-based divorce can be a far more stressful process, as the outcome is not guaranteed.

If it is beneficial for you to pursue a fault-based divorce, our experienced divorce attorneys will assist you in whatever way best suits your individual needs.

Contact Our Hackensack Fault Based Divorce Lawyers Today

Not unlike a no-fault divorce, if you misfile any of the various documents and paperwork involved, or file for your fault-based divorce in the wrong courthouse, you will most likely have to start the entire process over again. You must also be prepared to prove that your spouse did indeed take actions the court would consider valid grounds for a fault-based divorce.

With these considerations in mind, our firm is prepared to guide and advise you through the entire fault-based divorce process, help you ensure that your at-fault divorce is granted and that your divorce settlement agreement is fair to you, accurately reflecting your unique needs and concerns.

Having already represented many clients across Paramus, Hackensack, Teaneck, Ridgewood, Fort Lee, and the greater Bergen County area, the team of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark is prepared to put our compassionate, effective, and highly knowledgeable legal service to work for you today. By practicing exclusively divorce and family law, our firm can focus on the issues most important to you and your family, and ensure that your legal, financial, and parental rights are protected and accounted for during this emotionally strenuous time.

To schedule a free and confidential consultation with our firm today regarding your divorce, and whether or not a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce may be preferential in your unique situation, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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