• What is No-Fault Divorce

    No-fault divorce is a kind of divorce in which, neither the husband nor the wife has committed wrongful action. The persons filing for petition need not show any evidence that the respondent has done any wrongful action. Normally, the person who files petition in the court reveals to the court that the respondent has caused breach of martial contract. But when a person is filing for no-fault divorce, then he does not blame the respondent. Usually the people who wish to remarry file a no-fault divorce petition because they can secure divorce very quickly and do not face any complication. Hence they do not blame the respondent in a major way.

    But the laws are stringent in some parts of the United States such as Albama and hence they do not easily grant divorce for no-fault divorce. The no-fault divorce is also stated as a divorce act that takes place due to the mutual consent with each other. Some states allow the couples to file joint petition also. Usually when the couples are undergoing no-fault divorce, they agree with each other in most of the aspects. They are easily able to compromise on matters such as property issues, asset division, bank accounts, mortgages and other financial aspects. They are also able to decide about child custody.

    Most of the couples state to the court that they were not able to get along with each other or openly communicate with each other in any terms. Most of the states grant divorce to the couples if they are seeking for mutual divorce. They usually state the terms such as ‘incompatibility’ or ‘irreconcilable differences’ in the petition letter. The couples should live apart from each other for a period. They may live apart for six months to one year. Even if they are seeking for no-fault divorce, they should follow some legal terms when they are handling the financial aspects or child custody aspects.

    When the petitioner blames the respondent for breach of martial contract, then this term is known as ‘fault divorce’. The court handles most of the issues for fault-divorce such as property division, asset division, bank accounts split, child custody etc because the couples are unable to decide upon such issues. Usually the respondent pays huge amount of compensation for fault-divorce.

    Following are the advantages of no-fault divorce.

    a. In the United States, the divorce rate has drastically dropped since the enactment of non-fault divorce was introduced.

    b. The man or the woman who is suffering from his or her spouse since longer period can easily gain relief.

    c. The sentiments of the children are not broken so deeply and the process of divorce becomes easier.

    d. The couples can acquire divorce within a shorter period of time.

    e. The children who are abandoned by their parent continue to acquire care and protection because the social relationship between the spouse is not spoilt.

    Usually the family court undertakes decisions regarding the financial aspects and child custody, although the couple is able to decide peacefully between each other harmoniously.

    What is No-Fault Divorce” is an article of StateDivorce, a database of Hialeah, FL lawyers.

  • Divorce Mediation in New Jersey

    The Litigation – watch more funny videos

    Mediation is a dispute resolution process in which an impartial third party – the mediator – facilitates negotiations among the parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable settlement. The mediator does not make a decision about the outcome of the case. The parties work toward a solution with which they are comfortable.

    Couples who seek divorce mediation in New Jersey need to be aware of the NJ mediation program, which was developed by the Supreme Court. Mediators participating in the program have been approved for inclusion on a roster by a subcommittee of the Committee on Complementary Dispute Resolution, after meeting training requirements set forth by the Court.

    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 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.

    No-Fault Divorce Cause of Action

    Separation is New Jersey’s only no-fault ground for divorce. To qualify under this grounds, both the husband and wife must have lived separately, in different houses (not only different rooms) for a period of at least eighteen consecutive months. Moreover, in order to qualify for the no fault divorce, there must not be a reasonable expectation of reconciliation.


    Extreme Cruelty

    Extreme cruelty includes any physical or mental cruelty which makes it improper or unreasonable to expect that individual to cohabitate with their spouse. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(c). The courts are very liberal as to what type of conduct constitutes extreme cruelty.


    The courts have held that “adultery exists when one spouse rejects the other by entering into a personal intimate relationship with any other person, irrespective of the specific sexual acts performed; the rejection of the spouse coupled with out-of-marriage intimacy constitutes adultery.” New Jersey Court Rule 5:4-2 requires that the plaintiff in an adultery divorce case, state the name of the person with whom the offending conduct was committed. This person is known as the correspondent. If the name is not known, the person who files must give as much information as possible tending to describe the adulterer.


    The willful and continuous desertion by one party for a period of twelve or more months, and satisfactory proof that the parties have ceased to cohabit as man and wife constitutes desertion under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(b). It is important to note that the parties may live in the same house. The crucial element here is “as man and wife.” Thus, desertion may be claimed after twelve or more months of a lack of sexual relations.


    Under N.S.J.A 2A:34-2(e), addiction involves a dependence on a narcotic or other controlled, dangerous substance, or a habitual drunkenness for a period of twelve or more consecutive months immediately preceding the filing of the complaint. The evidence must show that the use of alcohol and drugs was persistent and substantial. This is not a common ground for divorce.


    When one spouse has been institutionalized for mental illness for a period of twelve or more consecutive months subsequent to the marriage and preceding the filing of the complaint, institutionalization is a ground for divorce under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(f). The primary issue for this ground for divorce is whether or not the spouse is able to function as a working partner in the marriage.


    Imprisonment as a ground for divorce occurs when a spouse has been imprisoned for eighteen or more months after the marriage. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(g). Moreover, the parties must not have resumed cohabitation after the imprisonment.

    Deviant Sexual Conduct

    Deviant Sexual Conduct occurs if the defendant engages in deviant sexual conduct without the consent of the plaintiff spouse. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2(h).



    The Superior Court of New Jersey has jurisdiction over all causes of divorce, when either person is a resident of New Jersey at the time the action is started. There is a twelve-month residency requirement. Furthermore, the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant is fully established when the defendant files an acknowledgment of service of process, enters an appearance, or files an answer to the complaint.

    The Complaint

    The filing of a divorce complaint starts the divorce case. A complaint for divorce is filed in the county in which the plaintiff lived when the cause of action arose, or if the plaintiff was not then living in New Jersey, the county in which the defendant was living when the cause of action arose. If neither party was living in New Jersey when the cause of action arose, then the complaint shall be filed in the county where the plaintiff presently resides, or in the county where the defendant is living if the plaintiff no longer lives in the State. The requirements regarding the content of the complaint are described in the New Jersey Court Rules, Rule. 5:4-2, and require a statement as to the essential facts which form the basis for the petition for divorce (see above listed causes of action), the addresses of the parties, and in cases involving a child, the address, date of birth, and information as to where and with whom the child resides.

    In a divorce action where adultery or deviant sexual conduct is alleged, the pleading must also name the adulterer, or the correspondent. The complaint shall state the name of the person as the correspondent with whom such conduct was committed, if known, and if not known, shall state available information tending to describe the said person, including details of the time, place and circumstances under which acts or series of acts were committed.

    Filing Fee

    A filing fee is required at the time of filing of the complaint for divorce with the court. If there are children, then the parties also have to pay a fee to attend a parenting education seminar.

    Answer, Answer and Counterclaim or Appearance

    An answer is the defendant’s written response to the plaintiff’s complaint in the divorce case. In conjunction with the defendant’s answer, the defendant may file counterclaims against the plaintiff. A defendant is required to file the answer and/or counterclaim(s) within thirty-five days of receiving the divorce Complaint. Alternatively, the defendant may file an appearance governed by R. 5:4-3(a) with the court, where the defendant is not disputing the claims in the complaint.

    Answer to Counterclaim

    If the defendant files a counterclaim, the plaintiff is permitted 20 days in which to file any responsive pleading.

    Case Information Statement (CIS)

    The Case Information Statements also known as a CIS is the most critical document in a divorce case. Rule 5:5-2 requires both parties to file and serve CIS’s in all contested family actions where there is any issue as to custody, support, alimony or equitable distribution. The primary purpose of the CIS is to identify all assets and liabilities (whether subject to division or not) of the party, like the income picture, shelter, transportation and personal expenses of that party. Each party must file their respective CIS within 20 days after the filing of the answer or appearance.

    The parties’ tax returns, their last three pay stubs, their pension statements, and their mutual fund and stock statements should also be attached as exhibits to the CIS. The more comprehensively the CIS is prepared, the easier it will for the ESP Panel and the court to assist the parties to settle the case.

    Court Management of a Divorce Case

    Once each party has filed his or her CIS, cases are separated into one of four categories for purposes of case management: priority, complex, expedited, or standard. Alternatively, the parties may agree upon a designated track.

    Case Management Conferences

    Within thirty days after the filing of the last pleading, the court will schedule a case management conference that may be held via a telephone conference. The purpose of the case management conferences is to address discovery timeliness and ultimately determine a trial date if necessary to be determined based upon the case’s assigned track.

    In Middlesex County, the parties and the lawyers are required to appear in person at the case management conference. If the case is not that complicated, many times the case can be settled at the case management conference, with the assistance of the judge. This can save the family thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, most other counties besides Middlesex County, handle the case management conferences via a telephone conference.


    The discovery part of a divorce case is in many cases the most important part of the divorce. The purpose of discovery is to enable the parties to ascertain what assets each party has, and what constitutes the marital estate.

    New Jersey Court Rule 5:5-1 allows for discovery including interrogatories, depositions, production of documents, requests for admissions, and copies of documents. The time lines for conducting discovery are held at the Case Management Conference. Discovery can make a divorce very expensive. It is time consuming, and it can really create a lot of billable hours. If at all possible, the parties should try to reach a reasonable agreement, to avoid all of the expense of conducting discovery. However, this is easier said than done.

    Request to Enter a Divorce by Default

    If the defendant fails to file an answer or an appearance in a divorce case, then the divorce is defaulted. This means that the person has “blown” his chance to respond or contest the divorce. A request for a default against such a party is governed by R. 4:43. This rule requires the party requesting entry by default to make a formal written request for the entry of the default, supported by the attorney’s affidavit. The affidavit shall explain the manner of service of the complaint upon the defendant, the date of service, and that all time periods in which the defendant may file a pleading have expired. The request to enter a default must be filed together within six months of the actual default. The notice to request a default must also be served on the defaulting spouse.

    Please keep in mind, that if there is a default, this does not mean that the case is over. If a spouse is seeking equitable distribution, alimony, child support or any other relief, then a process known as “filing a request for equitable distribution” must be filed.

    When equitable distribution, alimony, child support or any other relief is sought by the plaintiff, a notice of application for equitable distribution pursuant to R. 5:5-2 is required to be filed before the entry of default. This notice must be filed and served upon defendant twenty days prior to the hearing date and must include the following:

    Notice of the trial date,

    Statement of the value of each asset,The amount of each debt sought to be distributed,

    A proposal for distribution,

    A statement whether plaintiff is seeking alimony and/or child support and, if so, the amount, and

    A statement of any other relief sought.

    As a result, the moving party must still attend court in order to obtain a divorce by entry of a default. The spouse must also bring a certificate of nonmilitary service verifying that her soon to be ex-spouse is not in the military. The courts do not want spouses to be divorcing their ex spouse while they are in the military overseas, and possibly in combat somewhere.


  • No Fault Divorce – An Overview

    Sometimes, couples just cannot get along. This is the premise behind Georgia’s no-fault divorce. Neither spouse is cheating, neither is abusive, nor is there any allegation of any other impropriety. Most often the cause of the divorce is listed as ‘irreconcilable differences.”

    No-fault divorce has been the subject of controversy since it was first recognized in the 70s. Pro-family groups say it makes it easier for couples to just divorce and not work out the marriage. Some women’s groups feel that abusive spouses are able victimize women again by getting a divorce that does not lay blame on either party and leaves abused women with no financial protection. If you and your spouse are considering a no-fault divorce, here are some things you should consider:

    o In a no-fault divorce, the judge will likely decide custody, spousal support and how to split the assets unless you can work out an agreement among yourself. If the divorce is amicable (as many no fault divorces are) there is a good chance the divorcing parents can work out an agreement. While the decision is still up to the judge, he or she will likely consider the wishes of the parents if those decisions are in the best interest of the children.

    o If your husband or wife is trying to convince you to divorce and you want to work on the marriage, he or she will likely be granted a divorce anyway. Because he or she is not required to prove fault, he or she can cite “irreconcilable differences.” About 80 percent of no-fault divorces are wanted by only one of the spouses.

    o Divorces move through the courts quicker. In Georgia, the waiting period for a no-fault, uncontested divorce is 30 days. If the spouses are fighting over assets or children, divorces can take up to a year or more.

    o This type of divorce is often less expensive if agreements exist on both sides as to the division of assets and child custody issues.

    Before you consider a no-fault divorce in Georgia, you should seek legal counsel on your own. Often spouses are convinced to do this type of divorce under the threat of a lengthy court battle or financial pressure by the other spouse. Coercion or fear is not a reason to enter into a no-fault divorce. A good attorney can advise you as to whether or not it is right for you and your family.

    Michael Waddington is a trial attorney that has been quoted by hundreds of major media sources to include USA Today, Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, Fox News, Fox and Friends, CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, ABC News and many others. He is the founder of the legal marketing firm, Legal Niche Pros, LLC. Learn more at http://www.legalnichepros.com or visit a demo site Athens GA Divorce.

  • Which type of divorce is right for you?

    When the decision to end a marriage has been made, the next step is to decide on what type of divorce is best for you, and your situation. There are six types of divorce commonly available, in most states. Each type of divorce differs in the type of requirements needed to satisfy the court, and thus be granted a Decree of Divorce.

    No Fault Divorce

    A No Fault Divorce does not require any allegations of wrong doing toward either party involved. Grounds for this type of divorce may include irreconcilable differences and irremediable breakdown of the marriage. The only state not honoring a true no fault divorce is New York. In most states, this is the most common form of divorce. A No Fault Divorce is commonly the least expensive.

    At Fault Divorce

    With an At Fault divorce one party has to have done something wrong that is resulting in the breakdown of the marriage. Wrongdoings, or grounds for divorce’, could include adultery, physical or mental cruelty, desertion, or imprisonment. If the spouse accused of such wrongdoing does not agree to the divorce, or the facts stated in the divorce agreement, he or she would have to deny the accusations and possibly prove a defense in court. Not all states allow this type of divorce.

    Summary Divorce

    A Summary Divorce is not commonly available. Also referred to as a Simplified Divorce, there are eligibility requirements to be able to pursue this form of divorce including limits on the term of the marriage and property. Simplified, or summary divorces, are uncontested, no fault divorces with absolutely no disagreements on the settlement. This type of divorce is typically the fastest.

    Uncontested Divorce

    An Uncontested Divorce is best when both parties agree, without hesitation, that the marriage cannot be saved. Most states require all issues related to the divorce to be agreed upon. This may include the custody of any children, support payments, real property, and any other assets the parties may hold. Approval rate of an uncontested divorce is high when the parties can present the court with a fair agreement. You may also agree on the divorce as uncontested and later ask the court to decided how to split property and decide on custody issues, although the approval rate would be less.

    Collaborative Divorce

    In a Collaborative Divorce the parties, with the assistance of attorneys, negotiate an agreed resolution. Often times a financial specialist will also assist in the negotiations. The parties are entitled to make their own decisions


  • No-Fault Divorce

    Ending a marriage can be a confusing and emotionally wrenching process, involving many difficult decisions. Most divorces are “no-fault” divorces, meaning the grounds are irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You do not need a reason to get divorced under the “no-fault” statute. The alternative to “no-fault” divorce is to claim fault grounds, such as adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, personal indignities or other fault-based grounds that must be proven in court. Fault grounds can be costly and frequently difficult to prove in court. More importantly, the process of gathering and submitting proof can often be embarrassing and painful – especially for any children of the parties.

    What is a no-fault divorce in Pennsylvania?

    No-fault divorce is easier to obtain, is less costly and much quicker than in a “fault divorce.”

    A court grants a no-fault divorce when both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken.

    There are 2 kinds of no-fault divorce:

    1. If both parties agree to the divorce, they can obtain a no-fault divorce by consent. One party files for the divorce and, after 90 days has passed from when the complaint is served on the other spouse, each party may file a form called an Affidavit of Consent. You may resolve any other issues you have by agreeing on how you will deal with marital property and/or debt in a Property Settlement Agreement. The court rules require you to file a series of legal documents to complete the divorce. This is the fastest way to divorce in Pennsylvania, but it requires the cooperation of both parties.

    2. Unilateral no-fault divorce is available if one of the spouses will not consent to the divorce but the parties have been living separate and apart (defined by the statute as “complete cessation of any and all cohabitation, whether living in the same residence or not”) for at least 2 years and the marriage is irretrievably broken. You may file for the divorce before you have lived separate and apart for the 2 year waiting period but you cannot get the divorce until the 2 year period is over. There may be disagreement between you and your spouse about when you separated which would require a court hearing to determine the separation date. Also, you may not be able to obtain a unilateral divorce if there are outstanding issues related to property division or support. You usually must resolve these issues before a divorce will be granted by the court.

    While a no-fault divorce is granted on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, it does not resolve other issues that often are involved in a divorce such as support, alimony, child custody and property division. These issues may still need to be resolved, either by agreement of the parties or by order of the court after a trial.

    Seeking a no-fault divorce saves the ordeal and costs associated with proving one party’s wrongdoing. However, no-fault divorce should not be confused with uncontested divorce. Even a generally amicable divorce often involves some contested issues, and you should contact an experienced lawyer to protect your rights and interests.

    Both parties’ agreement to get a divorce is not sufficient to achieve a settlement. The desire to “get it over with” is common, but the reality is that all marital issues must be resolved for our courts to grant a divorce. The real challenges are in resolving major marital issues such as:

    Child custody and visitation, as well as child support, if any minor children are involved

    Alimony/spousal support, if sought by either party Property division, covering all marital assets and debts

    In cases were a no-fault uncontested divorce is appropriate your divorce can often be completed in about 90 days for a flat fee. Click here for information about Uncontested Divorces.

        For information about Uncontested Divorces go http://www.divorcehelppa.com/No-Fault-Divorce.html


    Steven Tabano is an attorney practicing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His practice concentrates in the area of Family Law and Criminal Defense.  Attorney Tabano has tried many cases in his 20 years of practice and has argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on several occasions. 

    For more information go to http://www.divorcehelppa.com or www.tabanolaw.com

  • How A Separation Agreement Affects A Virginia Divorce

    In Virginia, either party of a marriage is permitted to initiate a divorce based upon fault or no-fault grounds. Fault based divorces are permitted to be initiated immediately provided that the required grounds are existing at the time of filing. Fault based grounds include abuse, desertion, and adultery. If no such grounds exist for a fault based divorce, couples may opt to proceed with a no-fault divorce. To qualify for a no-fault divorce, the parties are required to live separate and apart for either six or twelve months (depending on whether there are minor children) prior to filing for divorce.

    Unlike many other states, Virginia does not have a “legal separation” under the law. Once one of the parties removes themselves from the marriage with the purpose to make the separation permanent, the law finds that to be adequate to establish a separation. There is no need to express those intentions to anyone, including the spouse, nor to have any formal agreement. Although, as you can imagine, to not have some sort of formal document is a prescription for headaches.

    A separation agreement is a legal document that states how the parties will proceed in the course of the separation time. In most situations, the agreement will be incorporated into a final divorce decree and further explain the particular rights and obligations of the individuals in the course of the divorce. It may help to enter a hassle free transition into final dissolution of the marriage. The topics addressed in a separation agreement can go a long way in protecting the rights and belongings of the parties for future divorce proceedings.

    Most agreements handle the traditional matters of child custody and visitation, support questions (child support and spousal support), insurance issues, and some debt and property allocation. Separation agreements can be broad guidelines under which the parties will live, or they may be meticulous in each detail. The style depends only on the level at which the parties are ready to cooperate in the process.

    Once the terms of the separation agreement have been chosen, the parties can then establish whether the agreement will provide the basis of a future divorce decree. If so, once the required separation interval has run, either party can file a complaint for divorce and then right away submit a Final Divorce Decree which may references the separation agreement for details. Generally this can be achieved by one party as an uncontested divorce without requiring additional participation of the other.

    Separation agreements are legal documents, similar to contracts, signed by both parties in front of a notary public. If one of the parties fails to abide by the terms of the agreement, the agreement may be filed with the court for ratification, and the offending party may be held in contempt of court. If found in contempt, they may be sanctioned, be responsible for the other party’s costs and attorney’s costs, and perhaps even jailed.

    There is no requirement to get separation agreements drawn up by an attorney. Yet, because they are legally binding documents, it would be good to have the agreement drafted by a divorce attorney, particularly if the document is later to be used as the basis of the divorce decree.

    James Garrett is the founder of Garrett Law Group, PLC in Virginia Beach, VA. The firm serves clients in the Virginia Beach and Norfolk, VA areas. The firm helps clients in need of criminal and traffic defense, divorce and child custody, adoption, bankruptcy, and personal injury matters. (757) 422-4646.

    Virginia Beach divorce attorneys for separation agreement

    Virginia Beach divorce lawyer

    Virginia Beach divorce attorney