The CDC reports that there are approximately 827,000 divorces every year. That is roughly 68,916 divorces per month or 2,265 divorces per day. People divorce for all kinds of reasons, but throughout our years of practicing family law at Kevin Hickey Law Partners, we have found that there are typically five common causes of divorce.
1) Adultery is the most common reason cited for divorce. It is considered to be adultery when a spouse has a sexual relationship outside the marriage. Being committed to one another is what a marriage is built on, so it is only natural that infidelity defies the very definition of matrimony. If you are claiming that your spouse has committed adultery, you must prove this to the court. There are two ways to do this:
- Direct Evidence is the preferred type of proof. This is some sort of proof that clearly shows the adultery. The proof can be from a witness willing to testify in court that he or she actually saw your spouse committing adultery, a picture or some other proof. Unfortunately, direct evidence can be very difficult to get.
- Circumstantial Evidence is where you and your attorney will need to give the court information about your spouse. This information must show that your spouse had the opportunity and the interest to have a sexual relationship outside your marriage.
2) Money and finances are hot buttons for couples. Financial troubles can safely be named as one of the biggest causes of divorce and runs a close second to adultery. Money arguments are the result of many things such as different spending habits and financial goals. According to Dave Ramsey, money is the number one issue couples fight about or, worse, couples avoid discussing it all together which leads to even more problems like communication issues (see #3).
3) Communication issues have an effect on everything in a relationship from sex, money, family planning, et al. If your relationship does not have the ability to sit down, have a conversation about what is not working, and figure out a way to move forward, you may be headed down the divorce path in the future. We have found that adultery is often the result of communication breakdowns. Often, adulterous relationships start as a seemingly innocent friendship, an emotional affair that later becomes a physical affair. Marriages that have communication issues often lead to a lack of intimacy, which leads to adultery. This is not only a lack of physical or emotional intimacy and is not always about sex.
4) Addiction of any kind is another common reason for divorce. Couples divorce for all types of addictions---alcohol, prescription medication, illegal substances, online pornography, and gambling are among the top reasons couples divorce. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 24 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol. The pain caused by one partner due to an addiction can be impossible for married couples to overcome. Numerous divorces have been the result of addiction issues.
5) “Simply falling out of love/no obvious problems” is another common reason for divorce. Although, we find this most common among older adults in their 40s, 50s and even 60s. This is likely due to couples growing apart after raising their children. They have spent years together managing busy work schedules and children’s schedules and it is not uncommon for couples to come to our office after 20 or 30 years of marriage and want to part ways. They have found that they have simply grown apart.
Of course, every marriage should be given a chance to address issues without immediately jumping to a divorce. Unfortunately, in our many years of practicing law at Kevin Hickey Law Partners, it is hard for most marriages to overcome the many reasons for a divorce. If your marriage has irretrievably broken down, take action to protect yourself and your family, call Kevin Hickey today.