Irreconcilable Differences

The concept of irreconcilable differences (sometimes called irremediable breakdown, irretrievable breakdown, or incompatibility) provides possible grounds for divorce in a number of jurisdictions. Australian family law uses a no-fault divorce approach, and irreconcilable differences is the sole grounds for divorce, with adequate proof being that the estranged couple have been separated for more than 12 months. In the United States, this is one of several possible grounds.

Often, it is used as justification for a no-fault divorce. In many cases, irreconcilable differences were the original and only grounds for no-fault divorce, such as in California, which enacted America’s first purely no-fault divorce law in 1969. California now lists one other possible basis, ‘incurable insanity,’ on its divorce petition form.

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