New Jersey Divorce Law:
In order to start the divorce process you must file a complaint in the Superior court where you or your spouse lives. In your complaint or at the hearing, you will have to meet the residency requirement for the ground you specified above. Divorce laws apply only to the residents of a state, and each state has its own residency requirements. For the ground of no-fault based on a separation for 18 months, the residency requirement is one year in New Jersey. If the grounds for divorce is adultery you can file immediately without living in New Jersey for a year. The law absolutely requires that you or your spouse has been a resident for the stated period of time immediately prior to and at the time that you file for a divorce. For example, you cannot have lived in New Jersey for six months before moving to Nebraska for another six months and then come back to Virginia to file for a divorce. However, after you have filed, you can move anywhere in the world.
Your residency is substantiated by your affidavit. But cases have been dismissed and even overturned because of improper proof of residency. To be safe, bring copies of your leases with you to court if you have moved a lot.
New Jersey has counties that govern which court your divorce will take place in. This is called venue. The divorce must be filed where either the plaintiff or defendant resides or where either is regularly employed or has a place of business.
Divorce, Separation and Annulment
Divorce is the ending of a marriage ordered by a court. Annulment establishes that your marital status never existed. The court will declare that you were never married. Because the courts rarely grant an annulment, you should think twice about using this route if you want to end your marriage. The court may look to, but is not limited to, the legitimacy of children and the preservation of the sanctity of marriage. Because of these consideration a court will look to granting a divorce instead of an annulment.
The State of New Jersey has a “no fault” divorce known as voluntary separation. It usually means that you and your spouse have separated after mutually and voluntarily agreeing that you no longer wish to live together as husband and wife and that there is no hope for a reconciliation. Your spouse cannot threaten or blackmail you into leaving; you separate because you both want to. To get a divorce on this ground you have to be separated (not living under the same roof) without interruption (not even one night) without cohabitation (not a single incident of sexual intercourse) for 18 months and there is no hope of reconciliation. Remember though, if this is not a mutual and voluntary situation you will have to use another ground to get a divorce.
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