Divorce, the act of legally dissolving a marriage, is often the result of incompatibility between marriage partners. Common problems which may precede a divorce include infidelity, intimacy issues, strained finances, lack of communication, and more. When married partners cannot make peace with their problems, whatever they may be, it often results in a divorce.
While infidelity or intimacy issues may play a role in many divorces, there are also partners who are simply incompatible. Is incompatibility grounds for divorce? This article will explore the many options involving divorce and incompatibility.
Divorce Statistics in America
The provisional number of divorces and annulments in the United States has been dropping since 2000. Even so, hundreds of thousands of people are still filing for divorces and annulments each year. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, there were 827,261 divorces and annulments in 2016 alone, with a population rate of divorce at 0.32 percent.
Divorce on the Grounds of Incompatibility
No two people are the same. Every single person has different emotional and physical wants and needs, not to mention personality types. In relationships, these differences stand out because partners are together all the time, even more so in a marriage.
In fact, according to an article in LIFE, every couple has incompatibilities. Usually, spouses can ignore differences or set them aside to some degree to achieve a harmonious living situation. As LIFE points out, it is important that couples “don’t make those incompatibilities a deal breaker.”
In order to maintain a relationship’s harmony — incompatibilities and all — “continual compromise” is needed, notes an article from Psychology Today. The article also explains that most couples may break up due to one or both of the partners losing their ability to tolerate their incompatibilities. Essentially, one or both partners no longer wants to compromise.
There are many types of divorces one can file, depending upon the reasoning behind the case. Instances of incompatibility of temperament fall under the no-fault divorce umbrella. According to HG.org, other no-fault grounds include irreconcilable differences as well as irremediable or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Interestingly, HG.org also notes that no-fault divorces are the most common divorce type.
In the past, a spouse filing for divorce had to prove fault and pin the blame on their partner. People used instances of infidelity or mental illness to assign blame. In 1969, California passed the no-fault divorce law, according to Divorce Statistics. Over time, it became popular across the U.S. The main reason behind the law’s popularity was because it “showed a more humane and amicable way for a couple to end their marriage,” notes Divorce Statistics.
No-fault divorce is one in which neither party assigns blame to the other for the marriage’s breakdown, notes HG.org. This means that it is not necessary to prove guilt on either parties part. The terms indicate that the marriage has ended, but that no blame lies on the shoulders of either spouse. However, HG.org explains that many states require that a couple must live apart for a certain period of time in order to file a no-fault divorce claim.
Divorce on the Grounds of Incompatibility may be Used in No-Fault Divorces:
In answer to the initial question pertaining to filing for divorce based on incompatibility: yes, a no-fault divorce can be filed on the grounds of incompatibility of temperament. However, there are also many elements noted by Divorce Statistics, both good and bad, to consider when choosing this legal route.
Pros of a No-Fault Divorce
- Less Time: Getting a no-fault divorce takes less time than other forms of divorce.
- Less Overall Requirements: There are two potential legal requirements to proceed with a no-fault divorce, both which vary state by state. Some states may have a separated residential requirement while other states may have a waiting period before it is possible to file a petition.
- Less Expensive: No-fault divorce proceedings are less expensive than other types, due in part to shorter processing times and court fees.
- Mutual: Most no-fault divorce proceedings continue uncontested, which means the decision to end the marriage is mutual.
Cons of a No-Fault Divorce
- Unilateral Decision: One party can file for a no-fault divorce and a court can pass the order without involving the other spouse. It does not provide an opportunity for the other spouse to respond to the filing.
- Judge Decides: It is a judge who decides rights of custody, division marital assets, and spousal support.
- Waiting Period: Some states have waiting periods for no-fault divorces which can take years before a petition can be filed.
Filing a no-fault divorce on the grounds of incompatibility is a serious thing to consider. Nobody gets married with the intention of divorce, yet no two people are the same. Marriage is often composed of compromise and hard work. The problem occurs when that is no longer enough. Unfortunately, when differences can no longer be put aside, it might be time to consider a no-fault divorce.
Elizabeth S. Coyle is the current Director of Client Services for JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law based in Mesa, Arizona. She serves as a paralegal for the Family Law Department of the firm.