Divorce is one of the most difficult and complex life transitions for any individual to go through. It’s not a decision that should ever be entered into lightly, as it necessitates significant legal considerations, financial planning, and emotional support.
For those considering divorce, understanding why couples decide to end their marriage is essential to making an informed decision. Understanding whether your reason for divorcing can impact your divorce case is also important. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five of the most common reasons for divorce.
9 Common Reasons Couples Pursue Divorce
Divorce is a highly personal decision and the reasons why couples choose to end their marriages vary greatly. Here are some of the leading reasons couples give for divorce:
- Communication problems. Couples who struggle to communicate can often have resentment build over time. Without effective communication, couples also cannot work through their issues or resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. This can also lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from each other, which often leads to divorce.
- Infidelity. Although infidelity does not always lead to divorce (and may even be forgiven by the aggrieved partner), it's one of the most common causes of marital dissolution. Infidelity can be incredibly damaging because it undermines trust between partners—which is essential for any relationship—and may even cause irreparable damage that cannot be reversed without professional counseling or other forms of therapy.
- Financial struggles. Money is one of the leading causes of stress in a marriage, and financial issues often lead to arguments and resentment. If spouses have different monetary goals, it can lead to tension if they are not able to agree on how best to handle finances. The inability to resolve financial issues may even lead one spouse feeling powerless or unappreciated. Debt, bankruptcy, and foreclosure can all add further strain on a marriage if they are not handled properly.
- Growing apart. Often times, couples will struggle with incompatible goals and priorities in their marriage. This can manifest itself in numerous ways including different perspectives on how to raise children or disagreements about spending habits and budgeting. Incompatible goals or life changes (like becoming empty nesters) can cause a couple to grow apart and feel isolated in their relationship.
- Domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can be a devastating experience for both partners in a marriage. Abuse can take on many forms, from physical violence to emotional manipulation to financial abuse, and it creates an environment where trust and communication are impossible. Victims of domestic abuse often feel isolated and powerless in their relationships as well as unsafe at home and with their partner. Additionally, abusers may use tactics such as coercion or threats to maintain power over their partner, which only further erodes any sense of safety or security within the relationship. Ultimately, domestic abuse leads to feelings of hopelessness that make divorce seem like the only way out for victims who have had enough.
- Addiction issues. When one or both partners have an addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or activities, it can lead to immense strain on the marriage and cause irreparable damage. Substance abuse often leads to communication problems and financial troubles that can become too difficult for couples to overcome. Additionally, substance abusers may engage in destructive behaviors such as violence or infidelity which further erode trust and intimacy within the relationship.
- Unhappiness. Feeling unhappy in your relationship can lead to a lack of connection, communication breakdowns, and an overall sense of unhappiness that makes it difficult to stay together. Unhappiness can be caused by a variety of things including unresolved conflicts, personal struggles, grief, etc. When these issues are not addressed with professional help or communication between partners breaks down completely then feelings of hopelessness often set in—making divorce seem like the only way out for those who have had enough.
- Religious differences. Religious differences can be a major source of conflict in a relationship and can ultimately lead to divorce. Couples who practice different religions often struggle with how to raise their children and live their lives. Additionally, if one partner is more devoted to their religion than the other, it may lead to feelings of resentment or isolation from each other—which can further erode any sense of trust within the marriage.
- Irreconcilable differences. One of the most common reasons couples pursue divorce is due to irreconcilable differences, which simply means that a couple cannot resolve their differences or feels that they are not suitable for a relationship.
Does Pennsylvania Recognize Fault in Divorce?
Yes, Pennsylvania is a fault-based divorce state, and couples can file for divorce on fault-based grounds, including:
- Cruelty (or barbarous treatment)
- Incarceration for two or more years
However, you can file for a no-fault divorce and claim irreconcilable differences as your reason for divorce, which is often quicker than a fault-based divorce. If you file under fault-based grounds, you will have to substantiate the grounds on which you are filing. Evidence of fault can vary based on the grounds you file under and can include:
- Texts, emails, phone records, or other communications
- Receipts (of travel, gift, and other expenses)
- Surveillance videos
- Hospital records or medical records
- Witness statements/testimony
Whatever your reason for filing for divorce, the attorneys at William Kirby Law, Family Law Attorneys are prepared to help. Call (215) 515-9901 or reach out online today to schedule an initial consultation.