You do not have to live separately for any amount of time before you get a divorce in New Jersey — but it is still a valid grounds. Divorce on the grounds of separation, should you choose to pursue it, would require 18 months of living apart.
This article will look at why you do not need to separate first. It will also discuss some other timelines relative to the divorce process.
Irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce
When you start a divorce case, one of the things you would need is grounds. This means essentially that you need a legally acceptable reason for the action.
State law says that one possible grounds is having experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months. These differences must also be a reason that the court should dissolve your marriage. This is a relatively easy requirement to satisfy and is therefore one of the most common reasons that people use.
This system is different from the more traditional one that dealt with proving things like adultery or abuse. However, no-fault divorces based on irreconcilable differences have now been around for over half a century and are more or less the standard.
There are various other timelines and deadlines. For example, you and your spouse would have a certain amount of time to respond to each of the various official communications necessary for the procedure. You or your spouse would also have to have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months to file a divorce here.
All of this adds up to a situation in which it is relatively difficult to tell how long a divorce might take. If everyone replies promptly and works toward the fastest possible resolution in a no-fault divorce, it might be a matter of months.