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DivorceIrreconcilable Differences May Be Approved for Divorce in New Jersey; When Will No Fault Divorce Come to New York?

November 5, 2006

In their New Jersey Law  Blog, Stark and Stark report that  New Jersey took a step toward revamping its grounds for divorce for the first time in 35 years when on October 23 the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved adding "irreconcilable differences" as a cause of action for divorce. 

If passed, bill A-483 would mean that if a person can prove that irreconcilable differences have caused the breakdown of the marriage for six months and which make it appear that the marriage should be dissolved and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation, a divorce should be entered.

Under current New Jersey law, the only "no fault" ground for divorce requires 18 months separation in different households with no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.  Although similar bills have been introduced during the past, this is the first time "irreconcilable differences" has enjoyed wide legislative support. It should be noted, however, that opponents of the bill are contending that the 6 month period is too short for couples to work through their problems. Nonetheless, the sponsors of A-483 are optimistic of the bill’s eventual passage.

One can only wonder when will New York finally embrace a no fault grounds for divorce. Under present New York law, the only alternative to alleging and proving marital fault is living separate and apartment pursuant to a written agreement for a year.  All of the other states have adopted an “irreconcilable differences” grounds for divorce.   It is high time for New York do likewise.

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