When “It’s Just No Good Anymore”

When some couples, as some couples do, come to the end of the road in the marriage, the no-fault grounds - irretrievable breakdown or irreconcilable differences, depending upon the jurisdiction in which they reside - are the grounds for a no-fault divorce.

Basically, irretrievable breakdown or irreconcilable differences mean what a divorce appellant says it mean. These terms, unknown to divorce literature before the 1970s, are big enough in their interpretation, so that a couple who have come to the end of road, who have tried and failed to make a go of it, can dissolve the marriage. In effect, no fault means the marriage died, but no one killed it through his or her actions, and no one is at fault for the failure. Since no one is at fault, there is nothing to prove. In some jurisdictions, couples who reach this point may file jointly.

No-fault does not mean no pain. Very often even when one spouse agrees that the marriage has broken down, he or she may not really want the marriage to end. And many people who end a marriage often find special sadness in the popular song “One Is the Loneliest Number,” with its sad refrain “It’s just no good anymore since you went away…”

What no-fault divorce means that no two people can be forced to stay married when one of them wants out.

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