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Reasons why no-fault divorce is suddenly under scrutiny

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | family law |

Many New Jersey couples get married thinking their marriage will last forever. However, for some, divorce is inevitable when an issue causes a rift between spouses. No-fault divorce is a common option, but it’s suddenly under scrutiny.

Understanding no-fault divorce

No-fault divorce occurs when one spouse files without listing any specific grounds. It differs from fault divorce in that the latter requires a reason for the split. For example, in that type of divorce, the party filing can state that their spouse committed infidelity or was abusive. With a no-fault divorce, all that needs to be stated is that the marriage is irretrievably broken or the parties have irreconcilable differences.

Reasons for scrutiny

In recent years, socially conservative groups began to scrutinize no-fault divorce. Some have claimed it destroys relationships and turns marriage into a contract. Politicians in several states have called for the end to no-fault divorce; however this ties in with other contentious issues such as abortion.

In some cases, a person might fear having to explain why they want a divorce. For example, abuse within the marriage can be challenging to prove in a fault divorce. If law enforcement doesn’t believe that abuse has taken place, it could hinder the victim’s ability to get a divorce or drag out the court proceedings to the point where they are victimized all over again.

Other issues arise from the scrutiny of no-fault divorce. If the only available option is fault divorce, it could lead to mental health problems like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or even suicide. Meanwhile, with no-fault laws in place, fewer abused women are murdered by their spouses.

New Jersey has fault and no-fault divorce laws. If you have no choice but to file, it’s up to you to decide which option is better.