According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there is an increase of divorce filings in January than any other time of year. Some even refer to January as Divorce Month. Many unhappily married couples remain in their marriages during the holidays because they do not want to ruin this time of year for their children and/or extended families. They may decide to put it off until the new year for this reason; doing so can also prevent holiday child custody arguments.

On the other hand, they might choose January because it signifies a new start. Waiting until January could also be a thoughtful choice, based on finances. There could be tax benefits from waiting until the new year begins, especially if the couple needs to file a joint return.

How can I Amicably Divorce from my Spouse?

When couples make efforts to attempt conscious uncoupling, the divorce process can be much easier. This is not always the case though, especially if one partner does not want to file. When that happens, things can be much more drawn out and expensive. This could be the time to contact a divorce lawyer who can help.

Those with children are advised to put their children’s needs first, since child support and custody will be part of negotiations. Yelling in front of the children can be harmful for them; it is better to agree to disagree in private.

How Do I File for Divorce in New Jersey?

The starting point for a divorce is when one spouse files a Complaint for Divorce. On average, it takes about one year after the filing date to complete a marital the process. The path from start to finish can involve mediation, a collaborative divorce, or litigation. At least one spouse has to be a New Jersey resident for one year before commencement of action, unless there is adultery involved; in this case, the residency requirement is that one party have a residence in the state of New Jersey. The plaintiff can file in their home county’s Superior Court; if they are not a New Jersey resident, they can file in the county where the other spouse lives. The Complaint includes the divorce request, plus any child custody, child support, distribution of marital property, and alimony requests.

What are Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?

One of the most common grounds for divorce in New Jersey is irreconcilable differences. The irreconcilable differences basis for divorce does not require that one spouse make allegations or accusations against the other. Irreconcilable differences in New Jersey is basically a “no-fault divorce,” meaning that unlike other grounds for divorce, such as extreme cruelty, neither you or your spouse has to allege any wrongdoings against the other. This is a much less stressful approach to divorce because there is no airing of dirty laundry or allegations of mistreatment or even abuse put into a court document. Filing for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences is not the same thing as an uncontested divorce. It does not mean that both parties agree on how the marriage should be dissolved or how custody, child support, division of property, or any other terms of a marital settlement agreement should be resolved. It simply means that no one party is more at fault than the other.

Adultery is a fault-based grounds for divorce and is one of the common fault-based grounds for divorce.

If the couple has been living separately for 18 months or more, or if one spouse willfully deserted the other for 12 months or more, this could also be grounds for divorce. Other reasons include serious alcohol and/or drug abuse, long term imprisonment or institutionalization, or deviant sexual conduct.

Extreme cruelty is also grounds for divorce, which involves physical and/or mental cruelty that endangers the plaintiff’s health or safety.

If you are ready to file for divorce, start on the right path by contacting the experienced lawyers at Burnham Douglass. For a free consultation, complete our online form or call 856-751-5505. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, and serve clients throughout New Jersey, including Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Burlington County, Salem County and Atlantic County.