It has recently been reported that Clint Eastwood’s marriage has broken down after 17 years and his wife Dina Eastwood has filed for divorce this week: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20748719,00.html
It appears that Dina has cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason why the marriage has broken down. This is a very common ground used in America that couples cite when filing their Divorce Petition, as it simply means that no one is to blame for the breakdown in the marriage. Both parties just have significant differences, which then makes the marriage unworkable.
Unfortunately in England and Wales we do not have “irreconcilable differences” as a reason to mention in a Divorce Petition, as the law is quite traditional in the sense an element of blame is still required for a couple to divorce straight away. That is why we have the reasons of “adultery” and “unreasonable behaviour”. The closest we have to a “no fault” divorce are facts of “2-years separation with consent” or “5-years separation”. However a lot of separating couples may not wish to wait that long if they feel their life is being kept on hold.
In this situation, separating couples can be advised to issue a Divorce Petition on “unreasonable behaviour” and then give examples of how there are too many differences between the couple and they have just simply fallen out of love as they have nothing in common for example. Trying to keep the examples of unreasonable behaviour as mild and uncontentious as possible will help towards keeping the divorce amicable. This is in the best interests of both parties, especially if there are young children involved as well.
For more advice on divorce and separation, please contact one of our family solicitors at Susan Howarth & Co on 01606 48777 and take up the opportunity of a fixed fee half hour consultation or our free out of hours legal clinic. We are also introducing a DIY divorce session on the 29th October 2013 at 5:30pm at our offices for those who would like a step by step guide to completing their own divorce. Please call our office on 01606 48777 for further information and to book a place.