The video game, Fortnite, has been cited as a reason for divorce in at least 200 petitions this year, according to an online divorce website. Five percent of the 4,665 petitions it reviewed this year attributed the breakdown of divorce to their spouse’s addiction to Fortnite and other online games. The website’s spokesperson compares these video game addictions to others that jeopardize marriages such as drugs, gambling, or online pornography.
An Era of Digital Addiction
According to a relational therapist, an increasing number of spouses are unable to maintain their relationships because of digital addictions. She suggests that couples engage in open, honest communication or seek counseling before deciding to separate. However, sometimes the issue cannot be resolved, and these relationships eventually end in divorce.
Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey
Couples in New Jersey may divorce on either no-fault or fault-based grounds. To divorce on no-fault grounds, the parties must have no reasonable chance of reconciliation, as indicated by either:
- The couple is living apart for at least 18 consecutive months prior to the start of the divorce, or
- The couple is experiencing irreconcilable differences for at least six months prior to the start of the divorce.
To divorce on fault grounds, one spouse’s actions must have caused the marriage to dissolve. In New Jersey, some common fault-based grounds for divorce include:
- Abandonment/desertion: Your spouse must have been absent from the home for at least 12 months.
- Addiction: You must show that your spouse had an addiction for at least 12 months.
- Adultery: You must have proof that your spouse cheated or that he/she had the proclivity and opportunity to cheat.
- Deviant sexual conduct: You may file based on this ground if your spouse engages in deviant sexual conduct without your consent.
- Extreme mental or physical cruelty: You must wait at least three months before filing divorce on this ground.
- Imprisonment: Your spouse must have been sentenced to a jail sentence of at least 18 months.
- Institutionalization: You may cite this ground if your spouse was institutionalized for at least 24 consecutive months.
Filing for Divorce in New Jersey
Along with your complaint, you must also submit other relevant documents, such as a Filing Letter to the Court, a Certification of Insurance, a Certification of Notification of Complementary Dispute Resolution, a Family Part Case Information Statement, and a Confidential Litigant Information Sheet. Consult an experienced South Jersey divorce lawyer to ensure you have included all the necessary forms.
Once your spouse is served, they will have 35 days to respond. Most cases are settled between the spouses, but, sometimes, contested or fault-based divorces end up in court. In those instances, it may be in your best interest to seek assistance from a qualified attorney.
We understand what you are going through, and we can help. We have been representing our clients’ interests in family law cases for over two decades. From our offices conveniently located in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout the state including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County. Contact us online or call us at (856) 512-1461 for a free, confidential consultation.