1. What are the residency requirements to file for divorce in New Jersey?
In order to file for a divorce in New Jersey, either spouse must have been a resident of the State for at least one year prior to the filing of the action. The only exception to the one-year residency requirement is when the grounds for divorce are for adultery. In cases of adultery the requirement is that at least one spouse must be a New Jersey resident. In New Jersey there are eight grounds or causes of action to file for divorce. The three most popular grounds are extreme cruelty, no-fault separation, and adultery. Remember, the grounds of extreme cruelty are just a “term of art” and it does not mean that your spouse was extremely cruel to you.
2. I want to file for divorce immediately. Are there any ways around the residency requirements?
In cases of adultery then the one year residency requirement is waived. Therefore, if a spouse is guilty of adultery, then a divorce complaint can be filed without waiting for the full year. When the cause for divorce is adultery and it took place in New Jersey, then there is no time limit to file for divorce.
3. I am a citizen from another country. I am currently living in New Jersey on a Green Card. Can I still file for divorce in New Jersey?
Yes. A person must have a legal “domicile” in New Jersey in order to file for divorce. A legal domicile is the place where a person claims he has a permanent home. If a person is a bona fide resident of New Jersey, even if their home country is not the United States, then he can still file for divorce in the Garden State.
4. Can I file for child support if I just recently moved to New Jersey?
Yes. The requirements that are necessary to file for child support are very liberal, and they are not subject to any strict residency requirements. The only requirement to file for child support in New Jersey is that the child must live in New Jersey. In many child support cases, there is a race by the parents to file first in each parties’ home state. Many mothers prefer to file for child support in New Jersey. New Jersey has some of the highest and liberal child support awards in the United States. Moreover, New Jersey also has some of the most liberal child support laws in the land. Meanwhile, many fathers try to file for child support in Florida, the southern states, or anywhere but New Jersey and New York. The child support awards are much lower outside of the metropolitan area.
Emancipation is much easier to obtain outside of the metropolitan area. Many states automatically terminate child support once the child reaches the age of eighteen. Meanwhile, in New Jersey a parent can be required to pay for child support even when the child reaches his/her mid twenties. The New Jersey child support laws often require parents to support their children while they attend law school, medical school or graduate school. Many parents are shocked when they realize how liberal New Jersey’s child support laws are.