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What are Irreconcilable Differences in California?

What are Irreconcilable Differences in California?In California, a marriage can only be dissolved for two reasons: Irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage or permanent legal incapacity to make decisions.

When couples decide to end a marriage or domestic relationship in California, they often cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason. But what does this phrase mean exactly? And why are irreconcilable differences grounds for divorce in California?What are Irreconcilable Differences?

California is considered to be a “no-fault” insurance state. One party can seek a divorce, even if the other does not. There is no need to prove that the other spouse or partner did something wrong (such as commit adultery) in order to end a marriage. It is simply enough for one party to claim irreconcilable differences as the reason for the divorce.

Irreconcilable differences are differences or disagreements which have caused the irremediable breakdown of a marriage. California state law defines irreconcilable differences as “those grounds which are determined by the court to be substantial reasons for not continuing the marriage and which make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved.”

Examples of Irreconcilable Differences

Over time, it’s not unusual for one spouse or partner to change their feeling toward the other. These differences can grow to the point where one spouse no longer wishes to be in the relationship. In many instances, these differences cannot be reconciled, hence the term “irreconcilable differences.”

Irreconcilable differences can include:

  • Financial responsibilities
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Lack of communication
  • Family involvement in the marriage
  • Emotional abuse
  • Loss of trust
  • Differences in life goals and interests

As stated above, you do not have to provide proof to support your claim of your irreconcilable differences. All the court must determine that the martial differences are so substantial that there is no reasonable possibility of reconciliation. The fact that one spouse says that irreconcilable differences exist is usually enough for the Court to end a marriage.

No-fault divorce makes the entire divorce process run much smoother. It is useful in situations where one spouse or partner wishes to end a marriage and the other does not. And without the need to show that your spouse or partner is guilty of lying, financial incompetence, infidelity, etc., there’s not as much drama, either.

Upland, CA Family Law Attorney Torrence L. Howell is Here to Guide You Through Every Phase of the Divorce Process

It’s unfortunate, but irreconcilable differences can make it impossible to continue in a marriage or domestic partnership. If you’ve reached that stage in your relationship you may be wondering what step to take next.

That first step would be to contact the law offices of Upland, CA family law attorney Torrence L. Howell. A divorce can be stressful; you need someone on your side to protect your rights and interests and explain your options during the divorce process. That lawyer is Torrence L. Howell. Torrence has been providing outstanding legal support to clients in Upland, CA, and surrounding communities for over 20 years.

You can reach out to the law offices of Torrence L. Howell through our website or call us at (909) 920-0908 to schedule a free initial consultation with a leading Upland, CA family law attorney.


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My ex-wife hired an attorney which prompted me to do so for our divorce. Torrence Howell was highly recommended from a friend of mine who used Torrence’s services for a divorce just like mine. The results came out much better than he ever thought it would. With all things being equal I felt Torrence would

-Anonymous May 23, 2018

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