Filing the Complaint for Divorce - the Process. When you first begin the process of divorce, the first thing that must occur is the filing of the complaint for divorce. The Court will assign you a docket number with the complaint. In the complaint, the filing party pleads their cause of action, what is the basis for the divorce. Commonly, the cause of action is irreconcilable differences, which essentially under the statute means that the parties have not been getting along for at least six months prior to the filing of their complaint. There are other causes of action as well, some no-fault others claiming fault, e.g. adultery. Regardless, in the complaint you also have to please the jurisdictional requirements in order for the court in New Jersey to have jurisdiction over your case, which is for the filer or the other party to have lived in the State of New Jersey for at least one year prior to the filing of the complaint.
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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.