One of the first questions you must answer on the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is whether or not you believe your marriage is irretrievably broken. In the State of Colorado, the court has to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken to issue a decree of dissolution and officially divorce the parties.
An irretrievable breakdown of a marriage means that the parties no longer want to live with each other and continue in the marriage relationship. The parties want to end their relationship as husband and wife.
A few years ago, a client came into our office after he had been given with divorce papers by his wife. The client had been married to his wife for over forty years. When I walked through the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage that was filed by his wife, I talked to him about the fact that she stated the marriage was irretrievably broken. The client explained that he loved his wife, but did not want to stay in a relationship with someone that believed the relationship was over. This made me realize that it takes two people to be married and only one to be divorced because why would you want to be in a relationship with someone asking for a divorce.
Another way to think of the term irretrievable breakdown is to compare it to irreconcilable differences. When you hear of two celebrities in Hollywood getting divorced or splitting up, they often say they are separating because they have irreconcilable differences. So, Colorado’s version of irreconcilable differences is irretrievably broken.
Recently, I was driving home and listening to Bon Iver singing Bonnie Raitt’s song I Can’t Make You Love Me. The words of the song really remind me of the breakdown of a relationship and a marriage. Specifically, “'Cause I can't make you love me if you don't. You can't make your heart feel something it won't. Here in the dark, in these final hours, I will lay down my heart and I'll feel the power. But you won't, no you won't. 'Cause I can't make you love me, if you don't.”
Breaking up is never easy, but in order to officially end a marriage in Colorado, remember that the Court has to find that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
If you have questions about divorce or have had divorce papers filed and served on you, please contact the Family Law Lawyers at Springs Law Group to schedule an free consultation. We are here to help.