By: Erin Hollenkamp
New Jersey divorce petitioners may get results much more quickly, if a recent bill becomes law in the state. The New Jersey General Assembly passed a no fault divorce bill in December which would severely cut the waiting time required for a divorce to become finalized in the state.
New Jersey couples currently have to be separated for 18 months for a divorce to become final. Existing New Jersey divorce law requires couples to cite emotional or physical cruelty in order to end the marriage in a shorter amount of time.
Under the no fault bill, New Jersey couples would be allowed to cite "irreconcilable differences" as a cause for ending the marriage after six months of separation. Proponents of the bill state that a quicker divorce process would result in less damaging claims and better allow people to move on with their lives.
Opponents argue that a New Jersey no-fault divorce bill threatens the sanctity of marriage and that six months is not enough time to determine whether or not a marriage should be dissolved. The no fault bill passed 61 to 15 with four abstaining votes in the General Assembly. The bill must be signed by New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine in order to become law.
New Jersey is not the only state which may adopt changes to its divorce laws in 2007. The Texas Legislature has proposed legislation that would allow couples to choose between a covenant of marriage or standard marriage prior to becoming husband and wife.