The fault grounds in New Jersey include:
- willful desertion (abandonment) for at least 12 months
- physical or mental cruelty which endangers the safety or health of one spouse, or makes it improper or unreasonable to expect that spouse to continue to live with the abuser, and
- continued drug or alcohol abuse for a period of at least 12 months.
For all fault grounds in New Jersey see N.J.S.A. 2A:34-2.
In New Jersey, judges won’t consider fault or misconduct when determining how to divide property between spouses, but they can consider any evidence of fault or misconduct when deciding how much alimony is reasonable and just.
For example a Court can find that a spouse behavior was particularly egregious. The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that the denial of alimony can only be justified if the fault is “by its very nature so outrageous that it can be said to violate the social contract, such that society would not abide continuing the economic bonds between the parties.