New Jersey Divorce FAQ'sState Divorce Laws for New Jersey
New Jersey Divorce FAQs
New Jersey Legal Process FAQs
There are three principal players involved in your marriage that will also be involved in your divorce: you, your spouse, and the state. You cannot simply break up, saddle your charger, and ride off into the sunset. Among other legal considerations, you have to give the state an acceptable reason why you should be allowed to break up. The reason is known as the ground for your divorce. Over the years each state has enacted legislation that governs acceptable grounds.
Any of the following grounds may be used for divorce in New Jersey:
(1) Irreconcilable differences which have caused the breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months and which make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
Extreme cruelty includes any physical or mental
cruelty which makes it improper or unreasonable to expect that individual to
cohabitate with their spouse. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(c).
In New Jersey there are two types of annulment. In the first type the marriage is declared void ab initio, or from its inception, as though it had never existed. You do not legally have to go to court to have the marriage declared void ab initio, although it's a good idea to do so. In the case of an annulment, a marriage must be "totally void" in order for it to be considered annulled.�
There are two characteristics of a "totally void" marriage:�
One such defect is if your spouse was formally married to someone else and still has not divorced that person. Your marriage to this spouse is considered totally void.�
Another defective marriage is one done between "blood" relatives.
The second type of annulment is called voidable. A voidable marriage can only be annulled by going to court and having it declared void. . Annulment is available in New Jersey, and in some cases it can be obtained under the name of a divorce. Along with obtaining an annulment for bigamy and for lack of consensual age, a marriage may be declared void if the parties did not really intend to marry or if they are incapacitated, as in insanity, intoxication, fraud, and duress. Although annulments may be granted, the preference of the court is not to annul, but for the parties to divorce. Also, any marriage that is expressly prohibited by statute is void by annulment.
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