Common Questions Series: Does fault matter in a New Jersey divorce?

I often hear this question like this:

Why do I have to [fill in blank here with something you don’t want to do]? He/She is the one who wants it.


Why do I have to pay alimony? My husband/wife cheated on me. Why should he/she get rewarded?

My husband/wife cheated on me. Why should I have to reduce my lifestyle because we have to get divorced now.

My husband is the one who wants to get divorced. Why should I have to move out of the house?

My husband is the one who wants to get divorced. Why should I have to pay half the debt?

My wife is the one who wants this divorce. Why should I be inconvenienced?

Well, the reason for that is because the court treats a divorce like a business transaction. Your marriage is basically a business or a partnership that is being dissolved. That means all of the assets and the financial affairs of the business have to be divided. It doesn’t matter who initiated the divorce, who was the mean one during the marriage, who may have cheated or behaved badly. It’s totally irrelevant. The court is not in the business of judging morality and ethics. The only time this may come into play at all is if there was a fraud perpetrated during the marriage that had a detrimental financial impact on the finances. An example of this would be a spouse who spent money during the marriage without the other spouse’s knowledge on gambling or on an extramarital affair. However, these are rare occurrences and they must be egregious to warrant any attention.

The best thing you can do for yourself if you’re going through a divorce and you want to keep it as inexpensive (and short) as possible is to treat it like a business transaction. Don’t expect to get any emotional satisfaction from the process.

If you need help figuring out how to navigate your divorce, we can help. Schedule a Client Vision Meeting right .

Christina Previte

Christina Previte

Christina Previte, an accomplished divorce lawyer, has focused exclusively on divorce and family law since 2004. As a co-founder of Netsquire, she addresses a significant gap in the divorce industry. Christina provides couples with options for a more peaceful divorce. With degrees from Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School (Camden), including a judicial law clerk role, Christina’s experience is undeniable.

Her recognition on the Super Lawyers “Rising Star” and Super Lawyer lists reflects her commitment to transformative divorce practices. Through Netsquire, Christina streamlines divorce into three crucial steps: resolving legal matters, securing a signed settlement agreement, and navigating court filings. With a client-centric approach, Christina reshapes the divorce journey, guiding families toward smoother transitions and brighter beginnings.

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