In New Jersey there is no separate grounds for divorce based upon addiction. If you are asserting that your spouse has an addiction and you want to use that as the base for you getting a divorce, you’re essentially asserting that there is cause for the divorce, not no cause. When you file a complaint based on a cause of action for divorce, you’re going to have to assert your reasons and those reasons can include that your spouse has an addiction.
Typically, that would be plead under the cause of action for extreme cruelty. You have to identify what the behavior is and how it has adversely impacted you. It’s not sufficient to simply say that your spouse had an addiction, but rather you have to identify that that has had an ill consequence for your marriage, your children, and your life. You must identify that it’s no longer healthy or appropriate that you be required to remain married to the person as a result of the addiction.
Allison C. Williams is a matrimonial and family law attorney serving Short Hills New Jersey. Her practice places an emphasis on complex child welfare matters. www.familylawyersnewjersey.com