10 Most Common Reasons For Getting Divorced


Cheating, Money, and Communication.


If you ask anyone why they’re getting divorced, oftentimes you hear at least one of these reasons.


However, I’ve had spouses go through a divorce for a lot more than the 3 reasons previously mentioned.


So, when I found these statistics, some of them didn’t surprise and a few definitely had me taken back.


The National Center of Biotechnology Information has given us a dose of reality. They’ve provided the 10 common reasons for getting divorced. To keep things interesting, I’m listing them from least to greatest.


Hint: Try not to skip to the bottom!


13.3% No Premarital Education of Religious differences


There are many things couples don’t discuss before tying the knot and religion is apparently on the list. Even though the percentage is the smallest on the list, it’s still a determining factor. I can imagine this impacts how couples plan to raise their children, should they choose to have them.


17.3% Lack of Family Support


I saw this one coming, but I thought it may have been higher on the list. When most people get into an argument with their spouse, they confide in someone. Normally it’s a good chance that the confidant is a family member. If this happens enough, the family grows a negative perception of the other spouse and eventually stops supporting the marriage. And for some, their family has a big influence on their life decisions, especially who they marry.


18.2% Health Problems


It’s sad that this is on the list, but it’s true. This wasn’t a client of mine, but I heard about this story and it’s really bad. I normally don’t allow my emotions to get involved in divorce cases, but hearing this really made me angry. True story. A wife was in a tragic accident that left her so severely injured her legs had to be amputated. The husband divorced her.


23.5% Domestic Violence


Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, initially I thought this would be higher on the list, but there may be another reason it’s not. And that reason could be simply because domestic violence has declined over the years. On the flip side, it could also mean the stats are higher and just weren’t reported in the study. I hope it’s the former.


If you’re reading this and are being physically abused by your spouse, it’s important to leave that environment and get to safety. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


34.6% Substance abuse


Here’s another serious reason that didn’t make the top 5. In some cases, substance abuse can be just as serious, or possibly even worse, than domestic violence. However, I can also imagine some spouses wanting to assist their loved ones with getting help to try to save the person and the marriage. It’s a tough situation for sure. If you’re going through this with your spouse and you don’t feel safe, consider asking a family member or friend who can help.


36% Financial Problems


Remember those 3 reasons I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post? Well surprisingly, it’s didn’t make the top 1 of the top 3 spots. Interesting right? I mean how many couples do you know that argue about money. While the stat is still high, it definitely makes you wonder what topped the list. I guess P Diddy was right when he said, “More money, Mo problems.” and divorce is definitely one of them.


45% Getting Married Too Young


I was surprised to see this one, but not for the reason you think. I’ve never seen this make a list for reasons to get divorced. However, I do recognize why it can be a contributing factor. When you’re young, you’re still trying to figure out who you are and what you want. So it stands to reason that young people don’t realize that as they get older and really figure out how they are and what they want, and their spouse does the same, they may find that they are not as great of a match as they initially thought. But what’s mindblowing is this accounts for almost 50%!


57.7% Arguing


We’re down to #3. This helped me make sense of why finances didn’t make it higher on the list. It’s really within this statistic. The research results didn’t specify, but it’s a good chance that arguing about money contributed to this outcome. Almost 60% of couples get divorced due to arguing. And this can also tie back into 1 of the 3 reasons I mentioned earlier → communication.


59.6% Infidelity


Of course, this isn’t a surprise at all. In fact, I was wondering if it was number 1. Unfortunately, infidelity is still a huge contributing factor to divorce and interestingly enough it’s one of the hardest things to prove to get a divorce. However, even if you can prove it, in some states, like New Jersey, it doesn’t affect the outcome of your divorce (i.e. you don’t get more custody, money, etc because your spouse was a cheater). But to the other extreme, some states consider it a felony resulting in jail time for cheating. Ouch!


75% Lack of Commitment


And finally, #1! Are you surprised? If you think about it, lack of commitment plays into many of the other reasons on this list like infidelity, financial problems, health problems, and arguing.


And there you have it. The 10 most common reasons for getting divorced. Were there any surprises for you? Can you relate to any of these reasons? If so, and you need help with your divorce, check out my Divorce Q&A sessions. It’s an affordable way to get your questions answered about your specific divorce situation.



The contents of this blog entry are provided for informational purposes only. You should consult with an attorney to determine how the law applies to the facts of your particular case. Reading this blog entry does not create an attorney-client relationship with Kelly McGriff.

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