Divorce is a legal process that dissolves the marital relationship and resolves various issues related to the marriage. In New Jersey, there are several common family law issues that may arise in a divorce.
Grounds for divorce
Fault and no-fault divorces are recognized in New Jersey. There are various reasons for a fault-based divorce. The most common reasons are adultery, addiction (drugs, alcohol, etc.) and imprisonment (your spouse commits a crime and is sent to jail). A fault-based divorce can also be granted for deviant sexual conduct, desertion, extreme cruelty or institutionalization.
No-fault grounds include irreconcilable differences or separation for at least 18 months. The choice of grounds may affect the outcome of other issues, such as alimony or custody.
Alimony is the payment of financial support from one spouse to another after a divorce. The purpose of alimony is to maintain the standard of living that the parties enjoyed during the marriage and to prevent unfair economic hardship for the dependent spouse. New Jersey courts consider several factors when determining alimony, such as the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, the marital lifestyle and needs and responsibilities.
Child custody is the legal right and responsibility to make decisions for a child and to provide care and supervision for a child. Our state recognizes custody as legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions for a child, such as education, health care, religion and extracurricular activities. Physical custody refers to where the child lives. New Jersey courts favor joint legal custody and frequent and continuing contact between a child and both parents, unless there is evidence of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
Child support is the payment of financial assistance from one parent to another for the benefit of a child. Child support is based on the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, which take into account the income of both parents, number of children, parenting time schedule, cost of health insurance, childcare expenses and other factors. Child support is generally payable until a child reaches 19 years old or becomes emancipated.