There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the state of marital unions in the United States these days. The good news is that divorce rates are dropping: Roughly four people out of a thousand could expect to get divorced back in the year 2000, but only 2.5 people faced the same issue in 2021. The bad news is that marriage rates are also declining pretty significantly.
Experts suggest that marriage rates are falling because people simply have a lot of other priorities. Many want to finish their education, start businesses, establish themselves in careers and pay off their student loans before they even think about starting families. What, however, is causing people to divorce these days?
The answers may surprise you
Gone are the days when the social stigma of divorce was enough to keep people living in relationships that are unhappy or simply unfulfilling. That may be why 75% of couples say that a general lack of commitment to making the relationship work is the reason for their divorce.
Basically, people have high expectations about what a marriage should be like. When that doesn’t happen, they aren’t interested in struggling through years of effort to improve things. One or both halves of a dissatisfying union may simply decide to move on.
Other top causes of divorce today may sound familiar
- Infidelity: 60% of divorces involve some kind of infidelity on one or both sides, whether that’s physical relationships with someone aside from their spouse or “emotional affairs” over the internet.
- Basic incompatibility: 58% of couples say that they ended their marriage because they were tired of all the conflicts and fighting.
- Youthful marriages: 45% of couples say that they simply “married too young,” which likely means that they married before they’d fully developed their personalities or belief systems, and they simply grew in a different direction than their spouses.
- Money trouble: 37% of couples break up because of money woes. Financial pressures can occur at every economic level, and they can simply involve a marriage between a “saver” and a “spender.”
- Substance abuse: 35% of divorcing couples say that alcohol or drug abuse played a significant role in their splits.
- Domestic abuse: 24% of divorcing couples say that some kind of spousal abuse was behind their split. That could be physical, mental, emotional or financial mistreatment.
Ultimately, every marriage is different – and so is every divorce. Your own reasons for seeking a divorce may fall into one, many or none of the categories above. Only one thing is certain: Your interests will be better protected if you seek experienced legal guidance proactively once you’ve decided to end your marriage.