By legal definition an “irreconcilable” difference or conflict refers to the inability of the two parties to resolves their conflicts or differences in order to save their marriage.
The only ground for divorce, in Australia is the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship, demonstrated by 12 months of separation. For the first time in Australia, divorce law allowed people to get divorced without having to prove that one party was at fault, when the Whitlam Government introduced the Family Law Act in 1975. Such divorces are called no-fault divorce.
Pleading Irreconcilable Difference or No – Fault Divorce
In Australia, “irreconcilable differences” is sufficient ground for divorce. This irrevocable breakdown of marriage can be proved by living separately an apart from each other for 12 months. Living under the same roof while arranging for alternate living arrangements, or sharing household responsibilities does not negate the idea of separation.
Couples argue over finances or religion, child discipline or politics. Other couples have personality conflicts, fight a lot, or simply don’t trust each other. All of these are ground to want a divorce. Your differences with your spouse must be permanent enough for your marriage to have become irretrievably broken.
Is it Advantageous to Plead for Fault Divorce to Gain More in Property Settlements?
You might be rightfully tempted to plead for a Fault Divorce because you want to get back at your spouse for the wrongs that he/she must have inflicted on you. However, this is not advisable or even profitable. This is because fault in divorce proceedings has now become irrelevant in the eyes of the law and property settlements are not affected by this for the divorcing couple. Property settlements are decided separately from the divorces. It is important to remember that you have only 12 months from the day of your divorce to apply to the court for property settlements.
It is also mandated by the present Australian divorce law that the capable party between the two, will have to maintain and the other party, in case the other party is incapable to financially support himself/herself. The fault of either party is not an issue in the matter.
Children and No-Fault Divorce
Until the relevant court has determined that proper arrangements for the welfare, care and development of the couple’s children, have been made, the no-fault divorce cannot take effect.
The court can adjourn the proceedings of the divorce, if the court suspects, in course of the hearing, that proper arrangement for the future well-being of the children have not been taken care of properly. It might take a family consultant’s report on the progress of welfare arrangements for children for the court to resume the proceedings.
Applying for a Divorce
If you are pleading for a no-fault divorce in NSW courts, it is best that you take legal help from family law experts. Though these divorce proceedings are often mutual and amicable, for best outcomes, you should initiate the divorce procedure after obtaining legal advice for a fast and fair divorce.