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Some Leading Causes of Divorce in the U.S.

Because every divorce is different—not to mention deeply personal—it can be difficult to pinpoint what exactly the root causes are of today’s divorces in the U.S. That said, research on divorce is an ongoing study, and researchers are still able to identify common trends in divorce as reasons for divorce reported by today’s divorcees. Here is a list of the most common reasons people are getting divorced, as reported by a national survey on marriage conducted by the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Inability to Settle Differences

One of the most mysterious and difficult causes of divorce to characterize to be sure, a married couple’s inability to settle differences can be at the center of that couple’s eventual divorce. These communication problems could range from frequent arguments and feelings of disparity, to differences in religious beliefs and a simple lack of communication. For some married couples, a lack of communication could stem from avoiding deeper, more potentially divisive communication in hopes of protecting an already fragile relationship—a further detriment to any relationship in the long run.

Financial Differences or Burdens

Sometimes finances can be at the center of a rocky marriage. Often, this will mean that a couple disagrees on a regular basis on how a household’s budget should be parsed. A study by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University in 2009 reported, for example, that couples who disagree over finances on a weekly basis are 30 percent more likely to get divorced than those couples who have financial disagreements only a few times a month—a statistic he arrived at after studying the responses of 2,800 married couples surveyed by the National Survey of Families and Households. Yet it isn’t financial differences alone causing divorce; sometimes an accumulation of debt can enter the picture as well, leaving the couple to cope with the mounting pressure of debt, and often giving root to a number of financial differences for that couple to sort out.


With infidelity being one of the most well-known reasons for a marriage to end, it isn’t surprising that acts of infidelity are a major cause of divorce. Infidelity can range from a lack of commitment on the part of one spouse to even adultery.

Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, domestic violence is still widespread in the U.S. today. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports that in almost 20 percent of all marriages in the U.S., couples slap, hit, shove, or otherwise assault each other, with verbal abuse being even more common.

No matter your reasons for divorce, we are here to help. We specialize in all aspects of divorce and family law. Contact us today for a free 30-minute initial consultation, either over the phone or in person at our office.