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Interior of an empty courtroom showing judge's bench, witness stand, jury box, and spectator seating for a mediated divorce hearing. American flag and state seal are visible in the background.

Divorce Options in New Jersey

Ending a marriage is a complex situation. When a couple divorces, there are many new things to consider. One of the first things a couple must do is decide how they wish to move forward with separating their lives. In the state of New Jersey, there are several different ways a couple can proceed with their divorce. Different couples may want to pursue a different method of divorce depending on their personal situation.


One option for couples to consider is a contested divorce. This is when neither spouse in the marriage has signed an agreement. This leaves issues that are unsettled. When this happens, certain aspects of divorce may be decided by a judge. That may include matters such as child custody, child support, properties, and alimony.

With this type of divorce, a spouse can cite “fault” or “no-fault” in the divorce. Citing fault grounds covers situations such as adultery, desertion, intoxication habits, abuse, prison sentences of 5+ years, or more. When a spouse cites no-fault grounds, the process of divorce begins.


Alternatively, a divorcing couple may consider an uncontested divorce. This is for spouses who agree to the terms and conditions of their divorce. In this case, one or both spouses decide the marriage cannot be repaired and wish to end it quietly. When this happens, neither spouse is held responsible for any fault. This is known as “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” There are two different types: A “1A” divorce is when both spouses agree on all marital issues. A “1B” divorce is when the issues are not resolved.


Divorce through trial can be financially and emotionally exhausting, which sometimes leads couples to seek other alternatives. Mediation gives couples the opportunity to negotiate their issues with the help of a third party. The third party mediates by listening to both spouses and suggesting ways to come to an agreement. Conversations in mediation may cover assets, alimony, and the care/support of any children involved. When the couple resolved their issues, the mediator may sign a document to present to the court.


Collaborative divorce also exists to avoid a divorce through court and trials. During a collaborative divorce, the separating couple will participate in a series of four-way meetings. These meetings try to help the couple come to an agreement on divorce proceedings. With negotiations guided by attorneys, the spouses work towards coming to conclusions regarding their circumstances.


Another divorce option for couples to consider is arbitration. This process involves a third party who acts as a judge, making the final decisions regarding divorce issues. This may include child custody/support, spousal support, and distribution of marital assets.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is considering a divorce and wish to seek legal counsel to guide them, contact the Law Office of Sabrina Gianna, LLC. today.

Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.