What Are The Top Reasons Couples File For Divorce?

When you marry someone, you imagine you will be with them for life. Unfortunately, happily ever after, till death do us part, is not always how the marriage ends. 

Divorce is never an easy choice, and most of us know someone, either a friend or family member, who has gone through a divorce. Often during the divorce process, you will need a divorce attorney to help you navigate the complex process of going through family court, childcare, child support and custody, and property division.

Usually, there is more than one reason why a couple decides to get a divorce, and there are multiple layers of overlapping experiences and issues. We have worked with many couples going through a divorce and will share with you some of the most common reasons why couples file for divorce.

Most Common Reasons For A Divorce

1. Lack Of Commitment

In a marriage, two people agree to commit themselves to each other. When one or both parties do not meet the commitment expectations, the marriage relationship begins to deteriorate. Sometimes, people do not discuss explicitly what commitment means to them and find out too late that their beliefs on commitment don’t align.

While a lack of commitment may seem vague or even hard to prove, there are always signs in a relationship when a lack of commitment is an issue. Many people contribute a lack of commitment to being a founding cause for other underlying problems.

2. Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable differences are the grounds for most no-fault divorces. When asked why marriages ended in divorce, people often say they grew apart and are no longer compatible. People can be incompatible in several areas, including:

  • Getting married when they’re too young increases the chances of developing apart
  • A lack of shared values and beliefs
  • Sexual difficulties and preferences 
  • Religious differences
  • Parenting methods

It’s not to say that two people with differences can’t work through them and stay married. However, in most successful marriages, the couple shares an overlapping set of values, beliefs, priorities, and interests. Incompatibility on some of the core parts of the foundation for a long-lasting marriage significantly increases a couple’s chance of filing for divorce.

3. Communication Issues

Communication is key to a healthy marriage. Suppose a couple has poor communication and cannot talk to each other, listen or argue too much, whether it’s over money, responsibilities, children, etc. In that case, it can significantly damage the marriage.

When you recognize that you and your spouse are often arguing and the fights are often repetitive and never really get resolved, that is a sign that the two of you need help to learn how to communicate more effectively. Couples therapy and conflict resolution workshops can benefit marriage under these circumstances.

4. Infidelity

Extramarital affairs are a contributing factor to why some couples divorce. However, an affair is often just the last straw. Many times some of those other issues, when left unresolved, can lead to emotional and physical infidelity, and while that is not an excuse, it can influence some people’s behavior.

5. Money

Financial incompatibility generally stems from differences in values and priorities around financial decisions. Fights over money happen when one spouse doesn’t agree with how the other spouse handles their money. Some of the signs that you and your spouse are financially incompatible are:

  • Secrecy between partners and even outright lies regarding financial decisions or purchases such as making an investment, withdrawing money from savings, or even buying clothes regularly and lying about it
  • You and your partner cannot talk calmly about financial decisions or have regular conversations about your finances
  • If one or both of you make large purchases without consulting the other or take other actions that affect your joint finances
  • You and your partner won’t or can’t set any joint financial goals such as building in retirement, saving to buy a house, or having kids
  • When you and your partner do set financial goals together, one of you or both of you keeps subverting them

Generally, people in the lower income bracket are more likely to have financial incompatibility issues. With less money to go around and more stress about bills, it becomes more likely to fight over money issues. Of course, it can happen between any couple at any income level.

6. Drug And Alcohol-Related Abuse

If one of the spouses has a drinking or substance abuse problem, it can lead to divorce. Signs that your spouse may have a substance abuse issue include:

  • Secretive Behavior
  • Paranoia and other personality changes
  • Mood swings and increased anger
  • Changes and hygiene, appetite, and sleep
  • Neglecting family and work responsibilities
  • Secret and excessive money use
  • Difficulty with memory or attention
  • Hanging around new friends and abandoning old friends or activities

7. Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is a viable reason for divorce, and domestic abuse can include verbal, physical, or emotional abuse. Unfortunately, women are much more likely than men to be a victim of partner-related domestic abuse. Understanding the warning signs of domestic abuse and how to protect yourself when leaving an abusive partner is critical.

You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline and RAINN for help. Make sure your abuser cannot track your calls or search your history and location, especially if you share cell phones or phone plans or are on the same network as your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

8. Conflict Over Parenting And Family Responsibilities

Discussing parenting methods and essential family responsibilities, including household obligations, ahead of time can save you a lot of stress in your marriage. If you and your spouse have conflicting ideas about parenting methods and who is responsible for what around the house, it can eventually lead to resentment and divorce if there is no resolution.

Variations In Severity Of Reasons For Divorce

Every marriage is different, and most couples will face at least one of the issues on this list at some point during their marriage. Some issues such as domestic violence and severe substance abuse are more severe. Many of the other ones may be able to be worked through if both spouses are willing to put in the effort and time.

If You Need A Divorce Attorney, We Are Here To Help

Azemika & Azemika specializes in family law, divorce law, adoption, and child custody & support, and our attorneys are experts in California divorce laws. Hiring an experienced family law attorney is critical to ensure your rights and needs are covered if you are going through a divorce and have questions.

Contact us today for a consultation.

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