Just what is an Irretrievable Breakdown?

Posted on Monday, October 14th, 2019 by Marc Beyer and is filed under Divorce,  Minnesota.

A local politician was in the news recently because she filed for divorce. In breaking the news, one of the headlines read “In a petition filed in Hennepin County, [politician] cites “irretrievable breakdown’ of her marriage…” as if these words provided insight to the reasons for the divorce.

In reality, every divorce petition filed in Minnesota cites an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship.” It’s required by law. See MINN. STAT. §518.10. Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, and this provision of the law is largely a reflection of that fact.

Stated another way, a person seeking a divorce need not establish infidelity, desertion, or any other fault-based reasons as required by some other states. Rather, it is enough if the petitioning party simply allege that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship.” By law, there need be no further basis for a divorce in Minnesota.

The same is true when celebrities divorce, and the media reports “irreconcilable differences” as the cause of the divorce. This is just legal terminology from a different state (like California). It is not something the parties came up with on their own trying to explain why they are divorcing.

So, try as the media might, a divorce petition does not provide all sorts of juicy details. It’s mostly filled with boilerplate terms required by law, including a statement that there has been “an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship.”

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If you are facing divorce and any of the divorce-related issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, property division, or domestic abuse matters, you need our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys to help you. Contact Beyer & Simonson in Edina, Minnesota today at (952) 303-6007.