The divorce rate in the United States reached a 40-year low in 2015. Divorce is still quite common throughout the country, though.
If you’re currently going through or considering a divorce, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone.
It’s true that every divorce is different. But, many of them stem from similar causes. Understanding the most common reasons for divorce can help you feel less alone during this difficult process.
Read on to learn more about the main reasons couples choose to end their marriages.
1. Infidelity Is One of the Top Reasons for Divorce
In the United States, approximately 17 percent of couples cite adultery (by one or both parties) as the reason for their divorce.
Men and women both commit adultery for a variety of reasons, and infidelity can occur at any point during a relationship. The likelihood that at least one partner will be unfaithful increases during the following periods:
- After the first year of marriage, when the “honeymoon period” ends
- After the first child is born
- During the 5th to 7th year of marriage
- During middle age when children are grown
Infidelity rates are currently on the rise. This is due in part to the fact that the internet and social media have made it easier to connect and form relationships.
Differing financial goals are another one of the main reasons for divorce. In fact, a lack of financial compatibility is a greater contributor to divorce than a lack of money.
40 percent of divorced couples say that incompatible financial views were the main cause of their divorce. If one partner is frugal and the other enjoys spending, it’s highly likely that a couple will experience problems.
That being said, financial stress can still contribute to marital problems and divorce. This is especially true is the husband is unemployed. According to a report published in the American Journal of Sociology, men who are unemployed are more likely than women to leave the relationship.
3. Lack of Communication
Many couples begin their marriage with good communication skills. But, over time, they get busy, grow apart, and don’t know how to talk to their partner.
A recent study surveyed 886 individual divorcing parents. Of this group, 55 percent cited “growing apart” as the reason for their divorce, and 53 percent said that they were “not able to talk together.”
An inability to communicate can take various forms. Some couples will notice that they’re arguing more frequently, while others will simply not speak at all.
Addiction puts a lot of financial and emotional strain on a relationship. Individuals with addictions are more likely to participate in other problematic behaviors, including lying, stealing, and adultery.
As a result, 7.3 percent of marriages end in divorce because of drug or alcohol addiction.
Even after seeking help from rehab programs or support groups, many couples are unable to reconcile if one partner struggles with addiction.
5. Lack of intimacy
A lack of intimacy is another common contributor to divorce. In addition to a decrease in sexual intimacy, many couples also cite a lack of general physical contact (hugs, kisses, holding hands, etc.) as a reason for choosing to end their marriage.
Couples see the intimacy in their relationship wane for several reasons, including the births of their children and mental health issues.
75 percent of survey respondents who described their marriage as lacking intimacy said that they’re unhappy about the current situation. 50 percent also said that they wouldn’t have married their partner if they knew that intimacy would decline over time.
However, only 33 percent said they consider leaving their marriage because of a lack of intimacy.
It may not be the biggest reason on its own, but a decrease in intimacy could lead to adultery or other problems that rank higher on the list of reasons for divorce.
Tips for Making It Through the Divorce Process
No matter what a couple’s reasons for divorce are, the process is almost always stressful. But, you can significantly mitigate that stress and have a smooth divorce by taking the following steps:
Legal mediation is often preferable to going through a court case. It is less stressful, make negotiations easier, and is faster and less expensive than going to court.
Mediation is especially easier for couples who have children and want to make the process easier for them.
Know When to Let Go
It’s important for both parties to pick their battles when going through a divorce. They should work to establish a fair settlement. But, both partners should avoid getting hung up on “winning” and fighting over small amounts of money.
Hiding money in secret accounts or selling off assets is especially problematic and will just make the divorce harder for everyone involved.
It’s also essential for both parties to manage their expectations around things like division of property and custody.
It’s unlikely that everyone will be totally satisfied with the outcome of these aspects of the divorce. But, knowing when to concede and move forward will help everyone — especially children — get through the process easier.
Find a Qualified Attorney
Choosing a qualified divorce attorney can make the process much easier. Take your time interviewing attorneys and look for one who communicates and well and seems to have your best interests in mind.
Some other things to keep in mind when making your decision include:
- Experience and specialization
- Type of client they typically represent
- Hourly rate and retainer
- Access to resources like parenting coordinators and financial experts
- Trial record and court success history
When you’re meeting with potential divorce attorneys, you should also be on the lookout for red flags. Some common ones include sharing confidential information about other cases or appearing distracted by phone calls and emails.
Looking for a Divorce Lawyer?
If you live in or around the San Rafael, CA, and are considering a divorce, contact us at the Law Offices of Gerard A. Falzone today. We offer a free phone consultation, and we’ll help you as you go through the challenges of a divorce.