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Common reasons for getting a divorce

When faced with divorce, you can guarantee it will not be an easy decision. There are many factors to consider; such as separating the family, financial assets, children, and how long the process will take and what exactly it will entail. Divorces don’t happen overnight and depending on circumstances, there may be complications.  

Are you familiar with the term ‘Divorce Day’? This has for many years been a common reference to January 3rd.  The month of January sees divorce rates almost double because following a not so cheerful Christmas, many unloving couples decide to go their separate ways.

So, what are the main reasons for divorce?

Adultery
According to the Office of National Statistics, in 2012 one in seven divorces were granted as a result of adultery in England and Wales. Adultery is one of the five grounds for divorce, where your husband or wife has had sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex. If you are aware that your partner is committing adultery but you are currently living together, it is important that either they or you relocate as soon as possible if you are planning to divorce. This is due to the fact that adultery does not legally stand as a ground for divorce if you have carried on living with your partner 6 months after discovering their affair.

Unhappiness
While general unhappiness does not technically count as legitimate grounds for divorce, it can lead to both parties feeling increasingly distant to one another, due to varying factors. It may be a lack of intimacy, a regretful rush into marriage in the first place or perhaps you’ve become too reliant on each other and have lost your identity somewhere down the line in the relationship. If either you or your partner is feeling unfulfilled in your marriage, the atmosphere between the two of you is likely to be affected, sometimes leading to further isolation if the subject is ignored.

Arguing
Most couples will argue from time to time, in fact it’s rare for a couple not to argue, especially those who are married. However, it’s how we deal with these arguments that determine the strength of the relationship. Some partners completely shut down after an argument and will refuse to talk to the other for hours or even days. Others might be passive aggressive, and some may automatically bring up the topic of breaking up as soon as one petty argument occurs. While arguments can be resolved, when they begin to build up to be more dramatic and become more and more frequent, they can easily lead to divorce.

Lack of Communication
According to John Gottman, a professor emeritus at the University of Washington who conducted research on couple behaviour over 40 years found that there were four main types of communication issues that couples experienced: contempt, criticism of partners’ personality, defensiveness and stonewalling (when one of you stops communicating completely.) While most couples will experience at least one of these issues within their relationship, for some it’s something that cannot be “worked through.” For those amongst us who find it hard to confront problems, hiding away from them and avoiding a discussion will add to the original issue and it’s this behaviour that can be detrimental to the relationship.

Different things from relationship
You may share the same interests and priorities at the beginning of your relationships, but as time passes these can change. Without sharing the same passion, you are unable to experience these interests together, which can lead to couples drifting apart. It may be the case that you still get along as people, but sharing a journey together will be difficult if one of you wants to settle down and start a family while the other wants to travel the world. While discussions can be had prior to the marriage about the direction you both are looking to take, we all know that circumstances can change over time, and, as the years pass, you may look at your life differently.

Abusive
Unfortunately, one of the most common grounds of divorce is abuse within the relationship. In addition, many people in abusive relationships are not aware that they are, but abuse can range from physical to verbal to abuse that isn’t seen on the surface, such as on-going manipulation that can last over many years.These forms of abuse would be legitimate reasons for proceeding with a divorce on the grounds of ‘unreasonable behaviour”.

Recently we reported on increases in domestic violence against men, shockingly it has doubled in Scotland over the last 10 years. Our blog on this takes a look at the barriers and how these overcome, and most importantly how to seek help if you are suffering any form of domestic violence.

Partner Changes
“You’re not the person I fell in love with,” may be a classic line you will recognise from countless films, programmes and books, it’s often one of the main reasons for divorce. While it’s true that we all change over time, in some circumstances it may not be for the best. Career changes, new friends and new experiences can have a huge affect on a person, but it is these changes that can often bring about the separation of a couple. This may be because the new influences are negative ones, or perhaps just so different from your own lifestyle that it’s hard to adapt to what is essentially a whole new personality who you are still married to.

Money problems
This may not always be due to lack of money, problems can sometimes originate from either partner sharing different views when it comes to money.

On one side of the relationship you could have someone who is dedicated to saving money and focused on the future, while on the other you could have someone who chooses to spend carelessly, the difference in opinion and outlooks for the future can cause a rift between two individuals.

We are only touching on just some of the reasons for divorce, as we always say, no two divorces are the same. If you are currently going through a divorce or separation, or are considering it, the decision to do this is never easy.

As divorce and family law lawyers we understand this and do all that we can to ensure along with our specialist legal advice, we can guide you through the emotional and legal complexities of separation and other relationship issues. If you feel you may need our help, contact one of our qualified partners on a no-obligation basis.  

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