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Divorce and Adultery - What Are Some of the Issues As to Pleading Adultery as a Cause of Action

Nov 14, 2015 @ 05:07 PM — by Michael Green

In the State of New Jersey, generally, adultery does not create an award for the other party.  They do not receive more or less in equitable distribution or alimony as a result.  Public policy was generally not to judge as to why adultery occurred in a marriage, so as a result, the outcome of a divorce, based on adultery as a cause of action, is not supposed to be affected by it, regardless of whether or not the adultery itself caused the dissolution of the marriage.  So, is it then necessary to plead a cause of action for adultery at all, its a good question.  If you do plead adultery, you are supposed to name and serve the party that you are naming as the one who committed adultery with your spouse.  An alternative way to plead adultery is to simply include it in a cause of action of extreme cruelty.  Generally, if the case is settled prior to a trial, the cause of action of adultery, often also extreme cruelty is withdrawn, and the cause of action of irreconcilable differences is used to put through the divorce.  It is generally up to the party what they wish to do in terms of ultimately filing a cause of action and naming or not naming an individual who participated in the adultery with your spouse.  

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