In 2007, New Jersey added “irreconcilable differences” as a no-fault ground for divorce. This means that the person asking for divorce is not required to prove their spouse did anything wrong – such as traditional fault grounds of cruelty, adultery, desertion, or confinement in prison. The only “ground” for a no-fault divorce is an irreconcilable breakdown in the marriage that has lasted at least six months.
Making the decision to file for divorce is a difficult one, but filing under the grounds of irreconcilable differences can help make the divorce process less contentious in the long run. Here are the top five advantages of a no-fault divorce:Establishes an amicable tone. How a divorce is initiated sets the tone for the rest of the divorce proceedings and co-parenting relationship. While one person’s behavior may indeed be the primary cause of divorce, beginning the process by blaming it on the other will make things more adversarial than they need to be.
Keeps legal fees down. Litigation – going to court to resolve differences – is expensive and emotionally draining. While a fault divorce doesn’t preclude the chance of ending up in front of a judge, it eliminates the need to prove the other party is to blame. Settling outside of court is one of the best ways to keep legal fees from ballooning.
Focus on needs, not faults. Blaming one person for destroying a marriage won’t change the past or make anything better. Your time and money are better put to use focusing on division of assets and custody matters.
Less incentive to manufacture false allegations. The pressure to prove the other is at fault may increase false allegations of abuse or other wrongdoing. Sharing the responsibility for ending the marriage can keep a divorce from turning into a soap opera.
May ease psychological burden on kids. Kids feel the strain of divorce even in the best of circumstances. Hearing that one parent ruined the marriage increases the chance that a child will take sides. It also creates a blueprint for black-and-white thinking and future adversarial relationships.
Because no-fault divorce is inherently less adversarial than fault divorce, it may speed up the process of getting on with life and establishing an effective co-parenting relationship.
Thinking about divorce? Ready to file? We’re here to help you explore all your options. When you are ready, please contact us to schedule your initial consultation with one of our skilled family law attorneys to get advice and guidance on your particular situation. Call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the button below.