What is the Residency Requirement for Divorce in New Jersey?

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In order for one to obtain a divorce in New Jersey, or in any other state, you must establish that that state has jurisdiction over your case. To do that, you must meet the state’s residency requirements. For more information on New Jersey’s residency requirements, please read on, then contact an attorney well-versed in the divorce process in New Jersey. Here are some questions you may have:

Does New Jersey have a residency requirement for divorce?

New Jersey has a variety of requirements that you must satisfy in order for a Garden State court to hear your divorce case. One of those requirements is that the court must have jurisdiction over your case. Jurisdiction is what gives the court the authority to hear and make decisions about your case and to enter a final judgment of divorce. For the court to have jurisdiction over your case, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of New Jersey for one year immediately preceding the commencement of the divorce action.

Are there any exceptions to the residency requirement for divorce in New Jersey?

The residency requirement discussed above applies to all causes of action for divorce except adultery. Thus, if you are seeking a divorce because your spouse had an affair, neither you nor your spouse has to satisfy the residency requirement in order to obtain your divorce.

How do you establish residency in New Jersey?

A person does not have to stay at the same address to fulfill their residency requirement. They can move anywhere in the state. In an action for divorce, the petitioner, i.e. the person filing for divorce, should show proof of where they or their spouse lived during the separation. The petitioner’s proof of residency is their complaint or testimony. The petitioner does not need to provide documents to prove their address.

What happens after you establish residency in New Jersey?

A separate but related issue is venue, which covers which New Jersey court you will need to file in. Venue can be tricky, but generally, it will be the county in which:

  • The spouse filing for divorce is domiciled when the cause of action arose
  • The other spouse is domiciled when the cause of action arose, if the spouse filing is not domiciled in New Jersey
  • The defendant is domiciled when services of process are made, if the filing spouse is not domiciled in New Jersey

This may sound confusing, which is why you should reach out to a skilled Hackensack, New Jersey divorce lawyer if you have any further questions.

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