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New Study Addresses the Most Common Reasons for Divorce

New Study Addresses the Most Common Reasons for Divorce

By: M. Scott Gordon

Many different researchers, in a wide variety of fields—from psychology and sociology to economics—have conducted studies on motivations for divorce. While some studies have commonalities, researchers across different fields tend to focus on varying issues involved in a person’s motivations for divorce. A recent study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) seeks to provide a definitive list of the most common reasons that Americans get divorced.

To identify the most common causes for divorce, the researchers polled a large group of people who participated in a “prevention and relationship enhancement program” known as PREP, designed to help couples learn important skills necessary for a strong marriage prior to getting married. Those individuals involved in the study responded to surveys more than a decade after participating in PREP and filing for divorce. A recent article in Insider discusses the study, and provides a new list of the top reasons that people get divorced. We want to discuss some of those reasons below.

1. Lack of Premarital Education

Many of the people surveyed indicated that more information about how to manage a relationship could have prevented divorce, and that not understanding important methods for communication ultimately led to the deterioration of their relationships.

2. Religious Differences Between Spouses

A survey conducted by Pew shows that about 69 percent of married couples currently report that they share the same religion as their spouse. The recent study suggests that a religious difference between spouses was one of the more major reasons that couples decided to get divorced. In short, many couples in interfaith marriages end up filing for divorce, finding that they are “less happy than those in same-faith marriages.” When couples do not share religious faiths, they may feel that they are not moving on a similar path together. More significantly, they might not share cultural experiences or ideas related to certain faiths, and they may not share ideas for engaging in the world and for solving problems.

3. Relationships with Immediate Family Members

The article suggests that there is a gender divide when it comes to relationships with in-laws: men who have a close relationship with in-laws are less likely to get divorced, while women who have a close relationship with in-laws are more likely to get divorced. While those statistics may be affected by gender biases and assumptions, the underlying point is that a married person’s relationship with his or her in-laws can affect the marriage and whether it ends in divorce.

4. Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not often discussed as much as it should be in connection with divorce, but both emotional abuse and physical abuse can play a major role in one spouse’s decision to file for divorce.

5. Infidelity

Many studies cite infidelity as a cause of divorce, and this study is no different. Nearly 60 percent of the people polled for the recent study cited infidelity or an extramarital affair as a deciding factor in filing for divorce.

Contact a Chicago Divorce Lawyer

In addition to the factors cited above, the study also reported that a general lack of commitment, difficulty communicating, financial problems, health problems, and substance abuse issues were all common causes for divorce in the U.S. If you have questions about filing for divorce, you should speak with a Chicago divorce lawyer about your case. Contact M. Scott Gordon & Associates for more information.