When a divorce is filed, the court will ask on what grounds should the divorce be granted, or what is the fault in the marriage. A fault may be adultery, abuse (physical, emotional, or psychological), substance abuse, impotence, or incarceration. The offending spouse would then need to respond to the divorce by disputing, affirming, or defending the grounds of the divorce.  However, some states have opted to allow for “no-fault” grounds for divorce, to eliminate such private business from being rehashed in the courtroom (where it could become public record). A “no fault” divorce means that the filing spouse does not have to give a reason for why they want a divorce, they just wish to no longer be married. The legal terms associated with a “no fault” divorce are usually “irretrievably broken”, “irreconcilable differences” and “irreparable breakdown of a marriage”.

Florida is a no-fault divorce state and uses the term “irretrievably broken” when filing. By opting to be a no-fault state, Florida eliminates the rehashing of painful or embarrassing emotions that stem from adultery, spousal abandonment, or a spouse going to prison. Although Florida may be a no-fault state, the “fault” could still be used during other aspects of the divorce such as child custody, property division, or spousal support. For example, if your spouse committed adultery or was sent to prison, this could be used as a mark against their moral fitness, and child custody or visitation can be limited or restricted.