Divorce From Bed and Board In New Jersey
Are you looking at obtaining a divorce in NJ, but feel hesitant about it as there is still a possibility of reconciliation between you and your spouse? Is religion a big consideration as well as health insurance coverage? Unlike in other states, legal separation is not available in New Jersey. If you are unsure whether to obtain a divorce, a divorce from bed and board in NJ is an option. Also known as partial, limited, or qualified divorce, this does not result in a completely severed marital bond. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-3 specifically provides for the causes for a bed and board divorce as follows:
- Divorce from bed and board in NJ may be granted for the identical grounds as divorce from the bonds of matrimony whenever both parties request or join in requesting such relief and they or either of them demonstrate adequate verification of such cause or causes to merit the granting of a judgment of divorce from the bonds of matrimony, provided further that in the case of a reunion thereafter the parties may submit an application for a revocation or suspension of the judgment, and provided further that the granting of a bed and board divorce shall in no way prejudice either party from applying at a later time for a change of said divorce to a divorce from the bonds of matrimony, which said request shall be approved as a matter of right.
From the above statute, it can be gleaned that while the spouses can obtain a judgment on their respective properties including benefits, pensions and even debts, the bonds of matrimony remain intact. In other words, the effect is similar as that of legal separation. Further, should any of the spouses acquire properties (lottery winnings, inheritance, etc.) thereafter, the other spouse is not entitled to an interest in said properties. The same holds true where a deceased spouse has left nothing in his or her will for the spouse to inherit.
It must be noted, however, that a bed and board divorce in New Jersey cannot be granted where only one of the spouses requests it. It is a requirement that both spouses must agree on the same.
Another important thing to note is that a bed and board divorce is not absolute. When spouses reconcile with each other, they are not precluded from revoking the judgment. On the hand, should one of the parties intend to obtain an absolute divorce they may do so by filing an application for an absolute divorce.
You want to make sure that a divorce from bed and board is right for you. Peter Van Aulen is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a matrimonial attorney. He has over 22 years of experience as a divorce and family law attorney. He has successfully handled many divorces throughout his career. His office is located in Saddle Brook New Jersey. For any questions on bed and board divorce in NJ, you can contact the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen for a free consultation at (201) 845 -7400.