No-Fault Versus Fault-Based Divorce
Separating partners that decide to divorce, but are unfamiliar with the proceedings, may be unaware of the options available to them. There is more than one type of divorce, and determining which kind best meets the needs of both parties can help smooth things along.
A no-fault divorce is less complicated and can be easier to handle for certain couples. In this situation, the couple wants to divorce because they feel that their marriage does not work anymore. Neither person has to prove that there was any wrongdoing on the other person’s part. Irreconcilable differences apply, and it covers a range of disparities, including how to raise the children to the living arrangements.
To qualify for a New Jersey no-fault divorce, certain requirements must be met, including the couple had to live in the state for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, and the irreconcilable differences had to be ongoing for more than six months.
Fault-based divorces occur when one or both spouses has more direct responsibility for causing the desire to divorce. Adultery, mental and physical cruelty, drug and alcohol abuse, and abandonment can be used as grounds for fault-based divorces. For these claims, there needs to be evidence to prove that at least one partner is at fault.
Pros and Cons of No-Fault Divorces
The main benefit of no-fault divorces is that if the couple follows the correct procedures, they should not be denied the divorce in court. A divorce agreement needs to be prepared ahead of time. This will cover the topics of alimony, child support, visitation and custody, and how the marital assets are to be divided.
No-fault divorces are also less difficult because there are no time restrictions for filing. Plus, since there is no requirement for proving fault, there may be less acrimony between the partners. During court proceedings, one of them must testify that the marriage has broken down and cannot be continued. In many cases, this testimony is sufficient to support that the marriage should be ended. Fewer restrictions makes no-fault divorces less stressful, but many people see it as an easy way out. Rather than working on a marriage to preserve it, partners might dissolve a marriage that could have been saved.
Pros and Cons of Fault-Based Divorces
Adultery, abuse, and other grounds for fault-based divorce can cause strong emotions, which may lead to arguments and other issues that make settlements more challenging. Proving fault may require obtaining documentation, photographs, and other forms of evidence. If adequate proof is not presented in court, a fault-based divorce could be denied. Alimony granted as a form of punitive damages is one possible benefit of a fault-based divorce. If one partner is liable for the above grounds, the other may be compensated with more alimony than in a no-fault divorce.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Offer Legal Guidance for Divorcing Couples
If you are considering a no-fault or fault-based divorce, we can help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family. Contact a knowledgeable South Jersey divorce lawyer at the Burnham Law Group, LLC for a free case evaluation. Call 856-751-5505 or complete an online form today. Our offices are in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, where we represent clients in South Jersey, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.