What do I have to show to allow the judge to determine my marriage is “irretrievably broken”?
The most common basis for seeking a divorce in Florida is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. In order to claim this as the grounds for the divorce, the court must reach the conclusion that “for whatever reason or cause the marriage relationships for all intents and purposes ended, no longer viable, a hollow sham beyond hope of reconciliation or repair” Ryan v. Ryan, 277 So.2d 266,271
Florida divorce law does not require both parties to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken. It is the court’s decision that if one party has made the decision to end the marriage it may be said that the relationship is broken.
Although Florida does not require proof of “fault,” the judge still must be presented with factual evidence that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” A simple agreement by the parties advocating that the marriage is over is inadequate. However, in most cases the court will not require a detailed investigation, and a statement from one party saying “I don’t love him/her anymore and don’t want to stay married” is enough. There are other facts which help to support the claim of a broken marriage including: mental and/or physical abuse, basic unsuitability, or years of permanent separation. In Palm Beach County dissolution of marriage cases, a spouse need only answer “yes” to the question “Is your marriage irretrievably broken?” No detail or explanation is required.