Written by: Willliam Lemega, Esq.
There are many different reasons people file for divorce. In New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2 states the causes of action for divorce. There are seven of grounds for fault divorce and two grounds for no fault divorce. Most divorces proceed on grounds for no fault divorce, which are either separation or irreconcilable differences. Rarely used are the seven grounds for fault divorce, which includes adultery.
If you choose to file for divorce on grounds of adultery, you must name the person with whom your spouse had an affair as a co-respondent in the action, in addition to the dates, times and places of the affair. This co-respondent must then be served and given the opportunity to appear in court and respond. Most all times this creates resentment and is psychologically difficult on all individuals involved, which is not the optimal way to commence a litigation that one may be hoping to settle both cost-effectively and expeditiously.
The advantages to filing for adultery in New Jersey are limited since, as mentioned above, New Jersey is a no fault state, and courts do not take marital fault into consideration when adjudicating property division or alimony. Unless the adultery is specifically intertwined with finances, should you file for adultery in your divorce action, the biggest effect it will likely have on your matter is a negative influence towards cooperative negotiation and settlement. If you or someone you know has any questions about filing for divorce and whether or not it would be beneficial to include adultery as a cause of action, contact one of the skilled attorneys at Lyons & Associates at 908-575-9777. You can also fill out our online intake form.