By SHERRI RUGGIERI
As a lawyer, I am always learning. I had never heard of a “limited” versus an “absolute” divorce. Apparently, the concept of a” limited” (mensa et thoro) divorce, which is also called a divorce from “bed and board” (N.J.SA. 2A:34-3 and 2A:34-6) is not new. This old concept has recently been creatively applied to allow the continuation of an employee’s “family” health care coverage even after the “divorce from bed and board.” The restriction is that neither party can remarry until there is an final judgment of “absolute” divorce.
In my mind, divorce requires the splitting of the property rights. This interim type of divorce (divorce from bed and board) only postpones the inevitable division that must occur on an emotional level. However, modern financial realities have forced parties to maintain their bond. Will this cause even more tension in an already strained relationship?
Sherri Ruggieri is the managing editor of Empire State News. A practicing attorney for over 20 years, Ms. Ruggieri is also chairperson of Edison Township’s Planning Board. Additionally, she has served as a college professor, with nearly a decade of experience in teaching law and political science courses.
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