What is Divorce Due to Irreconcilable Differences?
In divorce proceedings, it is required by state law that the divorcing couple cite the grounds on which they are bringing their case. Divorce due to irreconcilable differences is one such grounds. “Irreconcilable differences” simply means that the couple no longer gets along, and there is no hope that they will be able to resolve their problems and save the marriage. This is considered a no-fault grounds for divorce, where neither party is alleging any wrongdoing against the other. This is as opposed to a fault grounds like adultery, abandonment or extreme cruelty, where one party is accusing the other of some act that has caused the breakdown of the marriage.
Requirements to File For Irreconcilable Differences in New Jersey
While all states have some form of no-fault divorce, New Jersey has some specific requirements that must be met in order to file for divorce due to irreconcilable differences. They are as follows:
- You or your spouse must have lived in New Jersey for 12 consecutive months before the filing of the divorce complaint.
- You and your spouse must had experienced irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months prior to the filing of the divorce complaint.
- The irreconcilable differences make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved.
- There is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
You can potentially amend a fault based divorce into an irreconcilable differences divorce, though this must be done before the case has reached final judgment.
Benefits of Filing On a No-Fault Grounds
Since divorce due to irreconcilable differences does not allege that either party involved is at fault, it can make the whole process of divorce go much smoother. Citing a fault will rarely improve your chances of receiving more in child support, alimony or equitable distribution and can instead make the accused party less likely to want to settle without litigation, increasing the time and cost for the divorce for both parties. A divorce case is not about determining who is to blame for the breakup of the marriage and energy should instead be focused on the important aspects like finances and children. The court will not treat the parties differently if the grounds for the divorce are for extreme cruelty or irreconcilable differences. This can also allow both parties to pursue divorce mediation, thus reducing the chance of stressful and costly litigation.
Divorce due to irreconcilable difference is a complex process, so it helps to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side. Contact Himelman & Himelman today if you have any questions about divorce, settlements, or mediation.