Can someone define 'Irreconcilable Differences'

cheerful1_gwMay 10, 2005

My husband and I are going through some tough times right now. He said to me, since I can't understand and emphathize why he feels the way he does about certain things and how he reacts to them, that's irreconcilable differences. He thinks I've ruined his life, and because of that, he doesn't feel we should go 50-50 when and if our primary house is sold. I admit I've done stupid things and would argue even when I turn out to be wrong. I hate fighting, but we've had a lot of good times. He has a deep sense of right and wrong; no grey areas. He wants me to think long and hard about what I've done to make him so unhappy. I'm not looking for sympathy, just guidance.

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Personally, irreconcilable differences or not, if you are married, and the item (in this case the house) was purchased as a married couple, you are entitled to 50-50 split. One issue has nothing to do with the other.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:16AM
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The only way he would get more is if I give in. I'm not stupid enough to do that, but I know he will pressure me.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:26AM
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Looks like he's made up his mind to leave - talking about selling the house and how to split the proceeds, etc.

I would contact a divorce lawyer immediately.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 1:41PM
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I agree, find an attorney. If he is blaming you for everything, claiming you ruined his life he is emotionally abusing you!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 7:29PM
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Sounds like he may be "kitchen-sinking" you. I agree with qbirdy, find a good attorney.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 9:10PM
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My first husband also felt I was not entitled to half of the value of the house, the bank account, his retirement, etc. His reasoning was that I did not contribute any money to paying the mortgage and did not put any money into our bank account. Duh! I was home raising two children and cleaning the house and washing his clothes! We were married 12 years. I was shocked, but told him to keep HIS bank account and HIS retirement, but I wasn't about to give up 12 years of equity. Don't you do it.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 3:18PM
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It takes 2. If he's so unhappy, perhaps he made you unhappy too at times. He does sound rather arrogant. To say that you have ruined his life is ridiculous. He's responsable for himself!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 11:58AM
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Intense black and white thinking is often indicative of someone with some characterological problems. Do NOT count on this guy seeing your point of view or compromising.

Get a bull dog of a lawyer and protect your rights.
(I am a mental health professional)

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 9:01AM
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    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 2:39AM
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What did she do?

She hasn't signed all her assets over to him & gotten out of the way.

Cheerful1, I am very worried.

Please get an attorney:

Make a new will.

*Leave your estate to somebody else*.

& be sure, *after the new will is written*, that he knows about it.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 4:45PM
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I would also love to have someone define 'Irreconcilable Differences' as well.
My husband came up with that term last week after 8 years of marriage, and after having consulted a lawyer about divorce (topic that he never approached with me before seeing the lawyer)
What could lead him to find our differences to be suddenly 'Irreconcilable' after 8 years of marriage, when up until last month he used to say that he loved me exactly the way I am??
Coincidently (OR NOT), his change of mind about our relationship came around when my 14 year old daughter (from my previous marriage)entered a deep psychological crisis (involving substance abuse).
I would appreciate any views you want to share!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 3:12PM
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I think "Irreconcilable Differences" means not worth the trouble. Or to put it a bit more charitably, requiring a great deal of effort with a low probability of significant improvement. At least that's what it meant to me when I used the phrase to end my first marriage. It was so mush nicer than "You're an arrogant, verbally and psychologically abusive SOB with a large mean streak and small character."

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 5:58PM
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In addition: Pleaaaase get a lawyer ASAP! This idea of your husband to link whatever you did or did not do, with your giving up your fair share of your assets in NONSENSE. Protect yourself from his insanity. It's 50/50 no matter what!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 7:17PM
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Thanks for your input sweeby1!

That's exactly what I thought he meant.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 7:39PM
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I totally agree with those who are suggesting that you find a good lawyer at once. Mine was a red-haired lesbian (that's how she described herself) and I can't recommend that highly enough.

As for a definition of "irreconcilable differences" - here's what she told me: In California (where I divorced) there are only two "grounds" for divorce. Insanity. And, no, you CAN'T say, "I must have been crazy to marry this jerk." (One or the other of you has to be committed.) Or Irreconcilable differences. This one is easy. If you file on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and he agrees...done deal. If you file on those grounds and he contests, it proves your case. Done deal. (She sure was practical, bless her heart!)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 12:25AM
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Insanity and Irreconcilable Differences --

Gotta say that bothers me. What about the in sickness and in health part? Aparently, they only meant certain types of illnesses, not mental ones. That statute needs to be re-written. Mental illnesses so often have physical medical roots and are so discriminated against!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 10:28AM
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You have a point there, Sweeby. I hadn't thought about it that way but, according to my lawyer back in the late 80s, those were the legal grounds in California. I agree with you that mental illnesses should be on a level with physical ones. For that matter, I'm not convinced there is that much difference. There seems to be a lot of research to suggest that "mental" illnesses often show a physical basis as you said.

Of course now we have masses of seniors divorcing to avoid being bankrupted by the requirement to spend down to zero before getting help with long term care expenses. So many of our generation are ending up in nursing homes and I know from experience that this is a real problem. Nowadays you can hardly AFFORD to stay together in sickness of any kind.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 9:50PM
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Here's the definition of Irreconcilable Differences from NOLO Press (legal publishers).

Here is a link that might be useful: Irreconcilable Differences

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:40PM
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As a California lawyer (I don't handle divorces now) I believe that the reason the California courts went to "irreconcilable differences" was to avoid the parade of stories of who did what and attempts to apportion blame.
Its a no fault divorce state. That way the judges don't have to waste time deciding who did what, and just split the property and decide child custody. The property is split according to different rules which try to achieve fairness. For instance if the primary asset is a house purchased together with little money down--its split 50/50. If one person put in lots of down payment they might get credit for that and the remainder is split 50/50. There are variations of that but you get the idea.
Child support is determined using a complex formula with a computer program.
However, Cheerful, when they start telling you how you have ruined their life--its time to say goodbye, get an attorney and start collecting your paperwork, like back tax returns and start looking at his cell phone bills. Don't agree to refi the house for any reason, and skip the counseling. Maybe last year something would have worked but he is really saying "goodbye" in as nasty a way as possible.
What is sad is that he has moved on; you have just discovered you've got a problem and it will take time for you to process that information, and come to grips with the changes it will make in your life. He may have been struggling with this for 2 years, and finally made the decision. It doesn't matter why, and it doesn't matter if you think you can change his mind. He doesn't feel guilty either--or he wouldn't be suggesting a bad split.
I'm sorry--you have a tough year or two ahead. Don't listen to anybody who tells you this is all going to work out and he will suddenly decide he cannot live without you, or that counseling will work magic.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 11:48PM
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scarlett2001 one of those notices that you are not responsible for any debts incurred but your own. Your new lawyer will tell you what to say.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 10:25PM
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