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Irreconcilable Differences as a Ground for Divorce

Irreconcilable differences is a no-fault ground for divorce. This means that a judge will grant the divorce, for as long as all other issues related to the marriage, such as spousal maintenance, child support, custody, distribution of marital assets and liabilities, and attorney fees, among others, are resolved.

No-fault vs. fault-based grounds for divorce

The difference between no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce is the proof you need to submit to the court for the judge to grant your relief.

In New York, fault-based grounds for divorce are:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Divorce after legal separation
  • Divorce after judgment of separation

In any of the above cases, you need to submit proof of your ground in order for the judge to grant the divorce. For example, if you file for divorce based on adultery, you need to show proof of adultery. The same applies if you file for divorce based on abandonment. You need to show proof of abandonment. Because submitting proof for a particular ground requires trial and litigation, filing for divorce under these grounds can be expensive.

In 2010, New York added the irretrievable breakdown of marriage for six months as a ground for divorce. In other states, this is known as irreconcilable differences. Irreconcilable differences is a no-fault ground. Your lawyer does not need to show proof that your marriage broke down irretrievably for six months. You only need to allege this in your complaint. For this reason, irreconcilable differences as a ground for divorce has become the most-oft used ground for divorce and is usually the easiest and fastest way to get a divorce.

Other issues of divorce

Just because your ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences does not mean that the judge will immediately grant you that divorce decree. Divorce will not be granted unless you and your spouse agree on the following economic issues:

  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child support
  • Distribution of marital assets and liabilities
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Attorney fees

Even if you and your spouse agree to divorce, if you do not agree on how to divide your property or how much support the other spouse is entitled to, the divorce will not be granted.

It’s always recommended to resolve these issues out-of-court. It will be less litigious and therefore, cheaper. However, resolving these economic issues out of court does not mean that you should not be represented by a lawyer. In fact, this is the best time to be represented by a lawyer. Why?

Your lawyer will advocate for your rights and get you the best deal you can get in the divorce. You will not be intimidated in case the other party is represented by counsel. You will also be able to detach yourself from the divorce procedure and not be too affected emotionally.

Negotiating the economic issues of divorce should not be a do-it-yourself job. It is not the time to save on legal fees. The outcome of your negotiations will have a lifetime of consequences.

Should you need assistance in filing your divorce or negotiating a divorce settlement, we, at the law offices of Albert Goodwin, are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at attorneyalbertgoodwin@gmail.com.