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Studies Reveal Top Reasons For Divorce


There is no doubt that every divorcing couple has a story to tell. Perhaps the story would begin with two people falling in love and heading to the altar thereafter, or maybe marrying for financial, cultural, or religious reasons. After the marriage, perhaps the couple had a period of bliss in the “newlywed phase”, or maybe the union was fraught with conflict from the very beginning. In any case, each and every couple’s marriage and divorce story may be unique, with a variety of factors leading to joining in marriage and later splitting apart. However, several studies over the past couple decades shed light on the top reasons for divorce, and they may or may not be surprising.

The Studies

According to an article posted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information on PubMed Central, few investigations have been done into the most common reasons for divorce. However, the few studies that have been conducted in the last approximately twenty years shed light into common reasons for divorce in the United States and internationally. In 2001, an older study conducted by survey in Oklahoma revealed that the most common responses participants cited for divorce were “lack of commitment” (85%), “too much conflict or arguing” (61%) and/or “infidelity or extramarital affairs” (58%). In 2003, according to a study of divorced couples who were asked open-ended questions about the reason for their divorce, the most commonly provided responses were “infidelity” (21.6%), “incompatibility” (19.2%), and “drinking or drug use” (10.6%). One of the more recent studies regarding the most common reasons for divorce was conducted in 2012. The study involved a sample of divorcing parents. The results of that study revealed that the top reasons divorcing parents attributed to divorce were “growing apart” (55%), “not being able to talk together” (53%), and “how one’s spouse handled money” (40%). International studies conducted between 1994 and 2003 cumulatively showed that common reasons couples cited for divorce were “marrying too young”, “communication problems”, “incompatibility”, “spousal abuse”, “drug and alcohol use”, “religious differences”, “failures to get along”, “lack of love”, “lack of commitment”, and “childlessness,” among other common reasons.

Premarital Preparation and Common Reasons for Divorce

A study conducted between 1996 and approximately 2012 sought to determine common reasons for divorce among couples who had received divorce Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (“PREP”) education during their engagement. The study focused on 52 couples who had received the training and later divorced. The most common reasons for divorce reported by couples in the study (where both spouses agreed on the reason for the divorce) were “lack of commitment” (70.6%), “too much conflict and arguing” (53.8%), “financial problems” (50.0%), “domestic violence” (40%), “substance abuse” (33.3%), “infidelity or extramarital affairs” (31.3%), “getting married too young” (27.3%), “health problems” (25%), “little or no premarital education” (25%), and “lack of support from family” (20%).

Hiring a Chicago Divorce Lawyer

No matter the reason that forms the basis for a spouse or couple’s reason to divorce, individuals seeking a divorce should first seek out the counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer. The experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux are here to help. Contact the offices of Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux today for a confidential consultation to learn more about the divorce process, your rights and options, and to see if they can help you through your Chicago divorce.



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