New Change in New Jersey's Domestic Violence Law - "Coercive Control"

By:    Richard S. Diamond, Esq.; and Jonathan A. Diamond, Esq.
Diamond & Diamond, P.A.

Up until the end of 2023, New Jersey provided 19 separate grounds to file a domestic violence complaint. For 2024, the New Jersey Legislature added the term “coercive control” as a new ground for the filing of a domestic violence complaint.  

Under the new change to NJ’s Domestic Violence statute, “coercive control” is defined as a pattern of unreasonable controlling-type behavior towards a protected person. The legislature provided 9 examples of this controlling-type behavior that qualifies as “Coercive Control” for purposes of filing a domestic violence complaint.

Example #1: Isolating the person from friends, relatives, or other sources of support.

Example #2: Depriving the person of basic necessities. 

Example #3: Controlling, regulating, or monitoring the person’s movements, communications, daily behavior, finances, economic resources, or access to services.

Example #4: Compelling the person by force, threat, or intimidation to engage in conduct from which such person has a right to abstain; or abstain from conduct that such person has a right to pursue. This example includes but is not limited to, threats based on actual or suspected immigration status.

Example #5: Name-calling, degradation, and demeaning the person frequently.

Example #6: Threatening to harm or kill the individual or a child or relative
of the individual.

Example #7: Threatening to publicly disclose private information or threatening to make reports to the police or to the authorities for intimidation purposes.

Example #8: Damaging property or household goods.

Example #9:  Forcing the person to take part in criminal activity or child abuse. 

In order to determine whether you have a proper basis to file a domestic violence complaint or a proper basis to defend against a domestic violence complaint that was filed against you, call (973-379-9292) or email ( to schedule an initial consultation with one of our Family Law Attorneys, experienced in handling domestic violence matters.