No-Fault Divorce versus Fault-Based Divorce Union County, NJ
Linden Divorce Lawyer
Making the ultimate decision to divorce can be a difficult one, but it is also the first of many important decisions that need to be made during the divorce process. You will also need to decide exactly what kind of divorce to pursue, either a no-fault based divorce or a fault-based divorce.
Many different factors need to be considered when making this decision, as each type of divorce has its own advantages and disadvantages. The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper is prepared to guide you through this process, and advise you on the many different aspects, requirements, and benefits of these different grounds for divorce.
At our law office, we have extensive experience helping clients across Linden, Elizabeth, Summit, Westfield, and the greater Union County area to successfully, quickly, and favorably resolve their divorce and all its related issues including child custody, child support, asset, and debt division, and alimony. We believe in working closely with each of our clients, and that by truly understanding their unique needs and concerns in any divorce, we can best resolve their divorce in the manner that works for them.
No-Fault Divorce Lawyer Westfield, NJ
The first type of divorce available to New Jersey residents is that of no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is pursued when there are no grounds for your divorce, rather you simply believe your marriage can no longer work. In order to file for a New Jersey no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must have lived in the state for 12 consecutive months prior to filing for your divorce, have experienced “irreconcilable differences” in your marriage for at least 6 months, and have no reason to believe those irreconcilable differences can be resolved.
Irreconcilable differences is an important legal term, and can include almost any disagreement held between you and your spouse which you believe warrants a divorce; from disagreements over having children or how to raise them, to simply the difference that you want to divorce, and your spouse does not.
The main advantage of a no-fault divorce is that it cannot be denied by the courts as long as you and your Westfield divorce attorney follow the proper procedures regarding filing and pursuing the no-fault divorce. While the divorce itself cannot be contested, the terms of your divorce settlement agreement will need to be decided before the divorce is granted. Your divorce settlement agreement will cover every issue from child custody and visitation and child support, to division of marital assets and debt and alimony. In order to ensure that this agreement properly represents your interests and needs moving forward, it is important to retain experienced legal counsel to help you negotiate, and advise you when the proposed terms are favorable or in need of further discussion.
Fault Based Divorce Attorney Elizabeth, NJ
The other type of divorce available in New Jersey is that of fault-based divorce. Fault-based divorces are pursued when you believe that the misconduct of your spouse is what has lead to your need or desire to divorce. Unlike no-fault divorces, however, a fault-based divorce can be denied should you be unable to successfully prove that fault does, in fact, exist. For this reason, especially, it is important to retain the counsel of an experienced Elizabeth divorce attorney to help you gather supporting evidence, and present it in an effective and informed manner to the courts. This evidence can include witness testimony, photos, police reports, messages, expert counsel, and any other evidence your attorney deems effective and supporting of your claimed fault grounds.
Grounds for a fault-based divorce in New Jersey are outlined in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2. These grounds include:
- Extra-marital relationships and adultery
- Being abandoned by your spouse for at least one year
- Physical or mental abuse which makes it dangerous or unreasonable for you to continue your relationship with them
- Drug or alcohol abuse by your spouse for at least one year
While fault-based divorces have the added requirement of proving that fault exists, the main advantage to fault-based divorce comes in the form of your alimony settlement. The division of assets and how that is decided remains the same for both no-fault and fault-based divorces, but alimony in fault-based divorces is used as a form of punitive damages. Your spouse committed acts that caused you emotional and physical harm and depending on the severity of those actions, you will be compensated with a greater alimony settlement that what you normally could have expected in a no-fault divorce.
Of course, proving those faults and securing compensatory awards in the form of alimony can be difficult, and having an experienced Elizabeth fault divorce attorney can help you do exactly that.
Contact a Linden Divorce Lawyer Today
At The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, we have extensive experience resolving both no-fault divorces as well as fault-based divorces for clients across Elizabeth, Westfield, Summit, Linden, and the greater Union County area.
Attorney Edward Cooper understands exactly how difficult the divorce process can be for you, both financially and emotionally, and takes that into account by offering compassionate legal service and charging fair and reasonable rates. Our firm also knows that many attorneys “over litigate” divorce in an effort to prolong the process and charge more, and as such we offer honest counsel when it comes to negotiating your divorce settlement. We tell you when negotiation may be possible, but require extensive time and effort, when certain terms are downright unrealistic, and when an offer is fair and reasonable to you.
To speak with our office today in a confidential consultation regarding your divorce or potential divorce, or discuss your options regarding a no-fault divorce versus a fault-based divorce, please contact us online, or through our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625.