What drives couples to end their marriages?
Nearly 690,000 married couples chose to part ways in 2021 — a statistic that represents about half the number of couples who tied the knot during the same period.
To help people understand what causes divorce – and how to spot the warning signs – Forbes surveyed people about the reasons behind marriages ending. Overall, researchers found that the majority of divorces happen between the third and seventh years of marriage and are usually one-sided; only 27 percent of divorces are mutual.
The most common reason for divorce is “lack of compatibility.” Forbes’ survey digs deeper into what was lacking in the marriages that ended in 2021.
Top factors in divorces
According to the survey, the causes of divorce vary based on how long couples are together. Survey respondents who divorced quickly were more likely to say they couldn’t get along.
A lack of family support was the leading reason among those who ended marriages within two to eight years of marriage. Long-term marriages were most likely to be broken up by lack of intimacy or infidelity.
Overall, here are the top factors in 2021 divorces:
- Career choices – 46 percent. The tug of professional paths was the most significant source of conflict, a factor in 46 percent of divorces. Balancing individual career aspirations within the context of a shared life can be challenging, often leading to clashes in priorities and ambitions.
- Parenting differences – 43 percent. Parenthood, while rewarding, can also be a source of great stress. Varied parenting styles can strain a marriage as couples navigate the complexities of raising children together.
- Division of household labor – 43 percent. Splitting household labor continues to be a point of contention. Scientifically supported by a 2022 study, the allocation of household responsibilities can impact the dynamics of a relationship, especially concerning sexual desire. Women reported diminished sexual desire when shouldering a larger portion of the housework.
- Relationships with family – 39 percent. Managing external family dynamics can place additional strain on a marriage, with differences in expectations and values influencing the couple’s relationship.
- Relationships with friends 38 percent. Balancing social lives and individual friendships while maintaining a strong marital bond requires a willingness to compromise and mutual understanding.
- Finances – 28 percent. Differences in financial goals, spending habits, or financial strains can create a deep division in a relationship, leading couples to reassess their marital bonds.
- Health choices – 9 percent. Health choices became a point of contention for some couples. Variances in lifestyle choices, wellness practices, or responses to health challenges contributed to the strain on marriages.
More than 63 percent of the people surveyed felt that a better understanding of commitment before marrying might have helped them avoid divorce, while over half believed that a deeper comprehension of their spouse’s morals and values before marriage could have kept them together.
When is the right time to contact a divorce lawyer?
It can be difficult to know when it’s time to consult a divorce attorney. Ideally, someone considering divorce should speak with a lawyer early in the decision-making process to understand their options and potential challenges. Here are some signs it may be time to contact an experienced divorce lawyer:
- Lack of communication, the “silent treatment.”
- Lack of intimacy.
- Unmet physical, emotional, and financial needs.
- You’re only together for the kids.
If you’re experiencing early signs of trouble in your marriage or contemplating divorce, it’s wise to consult an attorney promptly.
Understanding options and outcomes empowers informed decisions
Unfortunately, there are many challenges and life events that can bring about the end of a marriage. No matter why divorce is being considered, consulting an experienced attorney about the process and potential outcomes can help you make the best decision.
At Klie Law Offices, we understand the factors behind divorce and provide support that goes beyond legal aspects. We aim to make your journey more manageable and positive with:
- Compassionate understanding. Empathetic support that recognizes the emotional toll divorce takes.
- Informed decision-making. Clear guidance for tough decisions.
- Open communication. This ensures concerns and needs are heard throughout the process.
If you are thinking about divorce, get information you can trust. Our law firm has years of experience successfully guiding people through divorce in West Virginia. Find out what we can do for you. Contact us today to get started.