Why do people get divorced?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Divorce

A major financial magazine last year conducted a survey of people who divorced to try to find out why people choose to end their marriages.

Despite the divorce rate declining in recent years, half of all first marriages end in a divorce. This means an Essex County resident has a 1 in 2 chance of going through a divorce at some point in their lives.

Interestingly most divorces happen early on in a marriage. Just under 5% of all marriages that last more than 10 years end in divorce, with most divorces happening between year 3 and year 7 of a marriage.

Another interesting fact is that, of the 1,000 people surveyed, only about 1 out of 4 described their decision to divorce as mutual.

Cheating remains a leading cause of divorce

Perhaps it will come as little surprise that cheating was a factor in over 1 out of 3 divorces, according to the results of the survey.

This made cheating the second leading cause of divorce and the number one factor in ending marriages of longer than eight years.

The most cited reason for divorce was that a person’s family and friends did not support the marriage. This lack of family support was a factor in just over 4 out of 10 divorces.

Lack of support was the most prevalent factor among those who divorced between their second and eighth years of marriage.

Other significant contributing factors included financial troubles, frequent fighting and an overall lack of closeness and compatibility.

The reason for a divorce can affect a person’s legal rights and options

Like almost all states, New Jersey allows for what is commonly called “no-fault” divorce. This means that a person can ask for and receive a divorce without having to prove the other spouse did something to cause the divorce.

However, in some cases, the reason why a person is getting divorced can affect how a judge divides property and determines custody and visitation.

For example, if one spouse’s drug or alcohol abuse contributed to the divorce, that spouse may not be a safe and positive influence around the couple’s children. Likewise, when finances have something to do with a divorce, it is fair to ask whether either spouse wasted or misused marital property.