Fort Lee Divorce Requirements

Divorce can be an exceptionally tricky process even if you know exactly what to do and everyone involved is on the same page. However, it is even more complicated if you are unfamiliar with how state law governs these proceedings—and more specifically, what circumstances allow you to file for divorce in the Garden State in the first place.

If you have any questions about Fort Lee divorce requirements, contacting an experienced divorce attorney can get you the answers you want and the clarity you need for your unique circumstances. If you meet the requirements and wish to initiate the process, guidance from capable legal counsel will be vital to ensuring it goes as smoothly as possible for everyone.

Residency Requirements for a Divorce in Fort Lee

New Jersey courts only have jurisdiction to dissolve marriages where at least one person lives in New Jersey. This means that someone who wants to file for divorce in Fort Lee cannot do so unless they,  their spouse, or both parties have maintained permanent residence in New Jersey for at least one year prior to filing.

However, state law allows an exception to this rule for people seeking fault-based divorces on grounds of adultery. In this situation, New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:34-10—the statute that establishes the residency requirement for all other Fort Lee divorces—imposes no restrictions on the right of any current New Jersey resident to file for divorce.

The residency requirements become trickier if the couple has children and the children live in a different state with either spouse. In addition to the above residency statute, the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) governs jurisdiction over cases involving children. If the children reside with either spouse out-of-state, the New Jersey court may decline to exercise jurisdiction under the UCCJEA. Whether the court will exercise jurisdiction over such as case is fact sensitive. A skilled divorce attorney can help you determine whether filing for divorce in New Jersey is appropriate and navigate any jurisdictional issues. Likewise, a skilled divorce attorney can help you determine whether your divorce involving children should be filed in New Jersey instead of any other state your spouse may have filed in.

What Grounds for Divorce Does State Law Allow?

Technically speaking, anyone who wants to get divorced in New Jersey must have specific “grounds” upon which they base their complaint for dissolving their marriage. However, the vast majority of modern divorces here and in other states proceed on “no-fault” grounds, which means neither party holds the other responsible for causing the breakdown of their marriage.

According to New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A-34:2, there are two valid “no-fault” grounds that may fulfill the relevant legal requirements for divorce in Fort Lee. The first is physical separation, which means spouses live in completely separate residences for a minimum of 18 consecutive months. The second is “irreconcilable differences”—which means, in essence, that the relationship has broken down to a point where it will never recover. This must last for a minimum of six consecutive months prior to filing.

While much less common, it is also possible to file for divorce on fault-based grounds in New Jersey. For example, someone could file because the non-filing party was adulterous, they were subjected their spouse to extremely cruel treatment, habitual drunkenness, or their spouse deserted them for a long period of time. However, fault-based divorces are almost always more expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to pursue, so having skilled legal representation can be vital to getting a successful outcome.

Learn More About Divorce Requirements in Fort Lee from a Knowledgeable Divorce Attorney

Even if you are unsure whether you will ultimately go through with a divorce, it can be helpful to know in advance what criteria you have to meet before doing so in the Garden State. If you decide divorce is the right choice for you, having professional legal help is essential to ensuring a favorable outcome.

A skilled divorce lawyer can explain Fort Lee divorce requirements and much more during a confidential consultation. Schedule yours by calling the Moskowitz Law Group today.

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