Bergen County Divorce Requirements

Obtaining a divorce is never a simple process. Not only do parties need to follow strict court procedures to obtain this legal remedy, but they must be sure that a Bergen County family court has the jurisdiction to hear the case.

Not just any person can appear in a courtroom and ask for a divorce. State laws mandate individuals to state a reason for seeking a divorce. Understanding Bergen County’s divorce requirements is the first step towards dissolving a marriage.

As a result, many people turn to divorce attorneys to help understand these complex areas of the law.

When a Court Will Hear a Case for Divorce

The first step in seeking a divorce is determining which courthouse will have jurisdiction over the case. At least one party to the divorce must be a bona fide resident of New Jersey for at least a year and has continued to be so up until the start of the case. The sole exception to this divorce requirement in Bergen County is when the party asking for the divorce cites adultery as the cause of the separation.

Citing a Valid Reason to Ask the Court for a Divorce

A divorce is a serious legal matter that courts must thoroughly deliberate on. For a court to even consider these cases, it is necessary for one of the parties to cite a specific reason for why the divorce should be granted.

While New Jersey is a No-Fault State, there are multiple grounds for divorce that a moving party may claim in their petition to the court. These include:

  • Adultery: This cause for divorce has no waiting period
  • Desertion for 12 or more months: This may require evidence that the parties have not lived together for this length of time
  • Extreme Cruelty: Any act of physical or mental violence that would cause a person to fear for their wellbeing applies.
  • Separation: This is only valid if the parties have not lived together for 18 months and there is no hope of reconciliation
  • Irreconcilable differences: Divorce is an option when two people have experienced a breakdown in their marriage for at least six months

By far, the most common reason for divorce in Bergen Court is irreconcilable differences. However, if adultery occurred, the filing party could avoid the residency requirement. In addition, citing abuse or neglect could help to promote a claim for favorable divorce terms.

A Lawyer Could Explain the Divorce Requirements in Bergen County

The family court in Bergen County has strict jurisdictional rules concerning when it can preside over a divorce. The first concerns residency. Only legitimate residents of the State can ask the court to grant a divorce with the exception of adultery cases.

The next step is to choose a proper ground for divorce. State law lists nine reasons that people can cite to ask for a divorce. However, making the proper choice is essential as the timing for the case will change, as will the ability of each party to present evidence during the case to ask for alimony, property, and child custody. To learn more about the Bergen County divorce requirements, consult a dedicated local divorce lawyer. Call today to set up a meeting.

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