New Jersey Divorce Laws

Under New Jersey law, dissolution of marriage is referred to as divorce from the bonds of matrimony. The parties involved must be residents of the State of New Jersey for a year before starting this action. While getting a divorce is an overwhelming prospect for any person, it is also a legally complex one. Those who wish to get a divorce should speak with a knowledgeable attorney about New Jersey divorce laws. A capable divorce attorney could review your case and explain your rights.

Child Custody for Divorcing Couples

Individuals who are considering a divorce should familiarize themselves with New Jersey’s child custody laws. While there is a presumption of 50-50 custody, a person who is not in favor of this must show why it should not be such an arrangement. The other party may not have been as involved in the childrearing. One party may have concerns with the other spouse in terms of their ability to care for their children or their availability. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on that, they may need to get experts involved to assist the court in making those determinations.


To relocate out of the State of New Jersey, a person must have the permission of the other parent or must have a court order. They cannot just decide to move out of the State of New Jersey without one of those things. They must show that it is in the child’s best interest to move, which makes it a harder standard for the person moving if they are removing the child from the non-custodial parent.

Alimony Payments

Another critical facet of divorce is alimony. There are several factors that the Court considers during a divorce. A few among them is the length of the marriage the lifestyle of the parties, the parties’ earnings, and the need for alimony and ability to pay. If a couple’s marriage lasted beyond 20 years, it is considered open durational alimony. If their marriage lasted less than 20 years, the longest duration of alimony would be the length of the marriage. For marriages under 20 years, this does not necessarily mean the alimony will be the entire duration of the marriage.

Individuals should also note that as of January 1, 2019, alimony is not deductible anymore under NJ divorce laws. This means that the person paying alimony is not getting a deduction and the person receiving it is not paying taxes on it anymore.

Equitable Distribution

While New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, equitable does not necessarily mean 50-50 under the law since it is a court of equity. The court will take into account certain things. These factors could include:

  • The parties’ physical health
  • Their ages
  • Income
  • What assets were brought into the marriage
  • The standard of living
  • Their economic circumstances
  • Expenses for pursuing education or tax consequences

Concerning equitable distribution, the general rule is that things that were required before the marriage are kept separate or not subject to equitable distribution. If there are inheritances during the marriage to one party, those would not be subject to equitable distribution. There are exceptions to this which is why it is crucial for individuals to speak with a lawyer well-versed in the New Jersey divorce laws.

Contact a Lawyer About the Divorce Laws in NJ

People considering a divorce should contact an attorney since it helps to know New Jersey divorce laws and how they may apply to your situation. While individuals must also know the ins and outs of the court system, most ordinary people are unfamiliar with these aspects. Divorce attorneys may have experience with judges on how they proceed with certain issues and how they may conduct their cases. It is extremely difficult to navigate the legal process without a seasoned legal advocate. Call today and schedule your consultation.

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