Irreconcilable differences are differences between the partners in a marriage which make it impossible for their marriage to continue. When marriages start to break down over differences, the spouses are usually encouraged to seek counseling and assistance in an attempt to reconcile, but if this fails, they can petition for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. The divorce would fall under a heading of no-fault divorce, which means that neither partner needs to be proved in the wrong in order for the petition to be granted.
People can develop irreconcilable differences over a wide range of things. Many things such as lots of time away from home, financial strain, arguments about how to raise children, and religious conflicts can put strain on a marriage. Sometimes, people simply find that their partners change over time, and that their feelings about their partners change as a result. In other cases, personality conflicts emerge when people transition from unmarried to married life and find that they are not as compatible as they thought.
To divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, the partners usually just need to petition. They do not need to show proof or to provide evidence. The judge will grant the divorce and work with both parties to achieve an amicable split of assets and to make agreements about custody of children. If the partners have difficulty working together, many of the arrangements can be conducted through their lawyers.
People in the process of a divorce often like to work with a lawyer who specializes in family law. These legal specialists are intimately familiar with the divorce process, and can work to make the process go as smoothly as possible while negotiating the best terms on behalf of their clients. People who are unsure about which lawyer in their community to use may consider contacting a professional association of family law specialists and asking them for a list of regional members; lawyers on that list will have met the basic standards for membership in the organization and have a reasonably high standard of experience and competency.
Once the divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences between the partners is finalized, both partners are free to remarry, if they wish. Remarrying can trigger a review of child support and alimony payments, under the argument that the newly married spouse is no longer as dependent on financial support from his or her ex-spouse.