What Are Irreconcilable Differences and how Do I Allege Them in my Divorce?

In Utah if you want to divorce, you don't really need to give a reason for wanting the divorce. This is because Utah has a no-fault system. (Read here to know more about the no-fault system.)

Because of this no-fault system, almost every Divorce Complaint filed in cites "irreconcilable differences" as the basis for divorce. Here is what we write in our complaints:

During the course of the marriage, Parties have experienced difficulties that cannot be reconciled that have prevented Parties from pursuing a viable marriage relationship; therefore, a divorce should be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Irreconcilable differences is really just a way to say the marriage is really bad and I want out. You don't need to elaborate on it because the Court doesn't much care. As long as one person wants out, the divorce will end.

And why not cite some sort of fault (e.g., adultery, drunkenness) as the basis for the divorce? We have a couple reasons:

1. Alleging fault doesn't get you anything.

Fault will never get you anything more in your divorce. People think that by alleging adultery in their Divorce Complaint that it will get them more money. It won't. (Let me clarify: it could in one out of a thousand cases, but the chance is so low as to be negligible.)

Ultimately, the remedy for adultery is divorce, which you will get if you cite irreconcilable differences. 

2. Alleging fault just upsets everyone and creates needless contention.

Alleging fault in all its gory details in the first document filed with the Court sends the other person in to a rage. I know because it's happened to my clients many times. Honestly, it makes people really upset and less likely to negotiate a settlement. So, if you want to spend more money on your divorce, then alleging fault is a good way to go.

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