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Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage

Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage

May 9, 2019

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Unhappy man and woman leaning against a wallThe end of a marriage is always a difficult time for both spouses. Even when the parties have been having marital difficulties for a long time, the decision to actually put an end to a marriage is challenging. On television and in the movies, divorce pleadings are often filled with detailed allegations of adultery or similar wrongdoing. However, this will not be the case in your Minnesota divorce case.

Minnesota is what is called a ”no fault” state. This means that neither you nor your spouse will have to prove that the other person is the one responsible for the marriage falling apart. Instead, you will only need to allege that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown” of your marriage.

What Does "Irretrievable Breakdown" Mean?

To file for divorce due to "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage," you will need to show that there is no chance that you and your spouse will reconcile and the marriage is damaged beyond repair.

There are two examples of irretrievable breakdown. First, you may show that you and your spouse have been living separately for at least 108 days. In the alternative, you can prove that there is serious marital turmoil that impacts your feelings toward the marriage and also that there is no chance the two of you will reconcile.

Proof of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is not difficult to provide. Minnesota law provides that your testimony alone can be sufficient.  In other words, you do not have to show that you and your spouse have attended therapy and it failed or that you have made long but unsuccessful efforts to heal the rift. Moreover, only one of the spouses must allege irretrievable breakdown. If your spouse does not want a divorce, then he or she will not be able to prevent it by stating he or she does not believe the marriage has broken down.

Divorce litigants should note that they are not required to allege and prove grounds for divorce in order to get the divorce in the first place, this does not mean that either party’s bad behavior is immaterial. For example, if your spouse wasted marital significant marital assets on an affair, that could be relevant for asset division or for spousal maintenance.

We have helped many people understand what needs to be alleged in order to obtain a divorce. Contact us today at (320) 299-4249 to talk about your case.


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