The general public often has many misconceptions about the divorce process and laws pertaining to divorce in general. People tend to rely on their neighbors, friends, and relatives in continuing to pass along these misconceptions. We want to ensure that you know what to expect if you are currently facing a divorce or may file for divorce in the future. As a result, we are here to set the record straight on some of the most misconceptions about New Jersey divorce law.
First, many individuals assume that they must be physically separated from their spouse for a period of 18 months in order to get divorced in the state of New Jersey. While “18-month separation” is one basis for divorce, there is really no required lengthy of a waiting period for most divorce cases. The no-fault grounds for divorce in New Jersey not only includes 18-month separation, but also includes “irreconcilable differences.” A New Jersey divorce based on irreconcilable differences requires only that the filing party certify that the parties suffered irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months prior to filing. Notably, no explanation of the differences the parties experienced is required and the parties do not have to be physically separated or living apart to pursue divorce based upon irreconcilable differences. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2.
Next, some individuals believe that alimony is only a possibility after your marriage has hit the ten-year mark or some other relationship marker. However, there is no law that requires parties to be married for any length of time before a court can issue an alimony award in a divorce proceeding. Rather, New Jersey law sets forth a number of different factors that the court must consider in establishing an alimony award, and while the court may consider the length of the parties’ marriage when considering the factors for determining alimony, there is no minimum number of years of marriage required to be eligible for alimony. However, the alimony statute lays out that except in special circumstances or marriages exceeding 20 years, a term of alimony may not exceed the length of the marriage.
As you can see, there are many misconceptions about New Jersey divorce law. This is why you always should consult a New Jersey divorce attorney about your rights and obligations under New Jersey law. We are here to help you make the decisions in your case that will best benefit you and your family in your legal matter. We are here to answer your questions, ease your mind, and help guide you through what is likely to be a difficult proceeding. At Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, we handle many different legal issues that relate to families and children. Contact our office today and see how we can assist you with your New Jersey divorce and spousal support case.